New King Point Marina is a "vote of confidence" in Plymouth
PLYMOUTH'S £4million King Point Marina has opened and been described as a "vote of confidence" in the city's economy.
The 171-berth marina, and its spectacular shore-side building, have been constructed at the inner basin of Millbay Docks.
After a nine-month construction project the facilities are now open to the public and the first boats have begun to arrive.
Dozens of people were invited for the official opening, performed by Jason Schofield, chief executive of developer Sutton Harbour Holdings plc; Chris Arscott, chairman of Plymouth Waterfront Partnership; and Charles Howeson, chairman of Plymouth Area Business Council.
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Mr Howeson even sailed his boat into the marina prior to giving a speech in which he said the development, which forms a centrepiece in the on-going regeneration of Millbay, had huge significance for Plymouth.
"We're not just looking at a new marina," he said. "It's a vote of confidence in this city's economy at a time when we are bouncing back."
He stressed how difficult it is for businesses to invest large sums during a recession, and said Sutton Harbour Holdings plc, which developed the marina, had therefore "done so with confidence and sure footedly".
He added: "What they have done is reassure all of us we are pulling on the same rope, in the same direction, at the same time."
Mr Howeson also stressed how the marina will fit with the wider re-development of Millbay, particularly the English Cities Fund masterplan which has already delivered the Cargo and Cargo 2 apartment blocks, and James Brent's Akkeron Group plans for the "boulevard" linking the area to the city centre.
The marina provides sheltered berths for boats of between 7.5m and 25m. The shore-side building contains showers, toilets, and facilities for berth-holders, with a first-floor space which could become a restaurant.
Mr Schofield said: "We have delivered a brilliant new marina, the first in the UK for five years, and invested £4million. I'm delighted we have been able to do this." He thanked SHH shareholders for raising the cash via an issue of new equity.
He also thanked firms which were also involved in the project, including architects AWW, project managers Sweetts(CORR) and Hyder Consulting, Devon Contractors, wavegate manufacturer Land & Water, and marine design company Walcon Marine.