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Newlyn Pier & Harbour Commissioners’ Update – September 2023

Newlyn Pier & Harbour Commissioners’ Update – September 2023

Following the monthly Board Meeting of Newlyn Pier & Harbour Commissioners (NP&HC), here is an update on the latest developments at the Port.

Cornwall Council has issued the letter of approval that confirms the grant funding for the new Marine Skills & Resource Centre, which means that the planning process can now be progressed.

The Newlyn Marine Skills & Resource Centre is being funded by the UK Government’s Town Deal initiative as part of its Levelling Up agenda to deliver regeneration projects across the country.

“We are delighted to receive the green light to move forward with our Marine Skills & Resource Centre in The Strand, which will create a much-needed centre of excellence for learning and the further development of marine expertise in Cornwall,” comments Chair of NP&HC, Rob Wing. “This is very good news for the Port and all those who work in the fishing and wider marine industries because it will provide multiple opportunities to upskill and future-proof livelihoods.”

Following NP&HC’s recent public consultation event about the Marine Skills & Resource Centre, residents are advised to watch the local press for details of the formal planning application for this new building and share any comments they have through Cornwall Council’s online portal when it is launched, rather than with the Harbour Master.

In terms of operational news, two hulks have been cleared from Newlyn’s Old Harbour, which had not only blighted its visual appearance but also presented an unacceptable risk to safety and the environment. Their removal is a first step towards the planned improvement and return to use of this element of the Newlyn Harbour estate.

A Heritage Statement report, funded by Penzance Town Council through The Newlyn Association, confirms that the Old Harbour is a nationally-significant structure as so few medieval harbours remain in a largely unaltered state. As this historic asset is Grade 2* Listed, Listed Building Consent will be required before it can be restored.

A grant application is now being made by the West Cornwall Lugger Industry Trust, in association with NP&HC, to the Community and Place category of the Community Levelling-up Programme for a total project cost of around £100k, with approximately £70k of that to be grant-funded.

This programme supports improvements to existing infrastructure and is funded by the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, the delivery of which is managed by Cornwall Council on behalf of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The project to renovate this iconic part of Newlyn’s heritage for the future is looking for, and very much reliant on, community volunteers as the grant-funding will cover specialist materials, plant hire and expert supervision.

Following a £25k repair to the Harbour’s boat cradle in May, it has been in constant use. Five vessels have utilised it for refits in the last month, including the 31m beam trawler, St. Georges, which is one of the largest that the cradle can accommodate.

The recent installation of a new mini grader in Newlyn Fish Market highlighted an urgent need to upgrade IT software and infrastructure, which will be undertaken this month. Overall, this upgrade represents a £90k investment in the Fish Market, part-funded by a grant from the UK Government’s Fisheries and Seafood Scheme, which provides finance to support the development of the catching, processing and aquaculture sectors.

A £90k project to remove nine wooden fender pylons at Newlyn Harbour and install steel replacements, funded entirely by NP&HC, will commence in the next two weeks. This upgrade will not only significantly extend the life of the pylons as a result of the material chosen for this ongoing project but also enable the installation of modular LifeLadders®, as previously reported, to improve crew and vessel safety.

A further surface repair is planned at North Pier to improve health and safety; property repairs to Admiralty Boathouse, North Pier units and the Fish Market are taking place and end of season gardening and gutter clearance is underway.

Commissioners are also considering how best to improve the flow of communication with stakeholders about NP&HC’s continuous programme of maintenance at the Port.

Finally, Newlyn Harbour was proud to fly The Red Ensign on Sunday 3 September, to commemorate the dedication and commitment of the UK’s Merchant Navy seafarers, both past and present.

“The Merchant Navy has safeguarded our shores in times of conflict, plays a critical role in maintaining the UK’s supply chain in challenging circumstances, and provides food security for the nation, putting to sea in all weathers to bring fresh fish to our tables,” concludes Rob Wing. “Every single one of them deserves our utmost gratitude and respect.”