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Watersport Centre plans move on for Swansea bay

Watersports excellence in pipeline for Swansea Bay

SWANSEA Bay could soon become a Watersports Centre of Excellence

image depicting Swansea Bay

This development has been in the pipeline for years now, I can only hope that the Council decides to continually consult watersport providers in the Swansea and Gower area to gain invaluable knowledge on how to proceed.

Bognor Regis on the south coast is undergoing a Watersport feasibility study at the moment for a similar development

The funding package of over £4m has been secured to help develop Swansea Marina, St Helen’s and Knab Rock and to refit the historic Olga pilot cutter vessel moored in the city’s Maritime Quarter. Porthcawl Harbour and Rest Bay will also be developed under the plans.

The investment package has been put together with funding from the European Regional Development Fund,  The Welsh Assembly Government Swansea Regeneration Area, Swansea Council, Bridgend Council, Mumbles Community Council, the Environment Agency and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

It’s hoped the development of Swansea Bay as a Watersports Centre of Excellence will complement a proposal to regenerate Oystermouth Road into a boulevard and generate better links between the city centre and the waterfront.

Swansea European-style boulevard

Watersports such as sailing, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, surfing, rowing, windsurfing, stand up paddle boarding and kite-surfing will all feature under the proposals.

Many people see the waterfront as Swansea’s best asset – but its real leisure and amenity value is not currently realised. By making it an active and well linked part of the wider City Centre the achievement of making our city the unique European waterfront destination becomes a step closer.

The plans would see cash invested in the St Helen’s area to develop access for all to the beach and a facility for beach and water sports. This would include toilets, wheelchair hire, changing and showering facilities, car parking improvements and a mechanism for accessing the water’s edge at low tide.

Swansea watersport centre

Funds will also be pumped into the improvement of the slipway and visitor facilities at Knab Rock to accommodate world class sailing and catamaran events. A new pontoon with disabled access will be put in place at Swansea Marina to increase sailing and boating opportunities.

An Adrenaline Coast festival is also in the pipeline. It will largely focus on Porthcawl but will include long-haul competition linking it with the Swansea foreshore.

Swansea Council bid for the funding on behalf of the Authority and Bridgend Council.

Iwan Davies, Swansea Council’s Head of Culture and Tourism, said: “The development of Swansea Bay as a Watersports Centre of Excellence will add another great asset to the Swansea tourism product offer which will help to further strengthen the local tourism economy and potentially provide training and job opportunities in the tourism industry.

“Tourism is already a major economic asset to Swansea and these new developments will provide an excellent addition to what’s already available. We are delighted that we have been selected as one of only three approved Centres of Excellence in Wales.

“The proposed watersports facilities and Olga refit will provide infrastructure that will further raise Swansea’s profile as a tourist destination and the clustering of waterfront activity will help deliver a vibrant waterfront.”

The schemes will be up and running by the end of 2012.

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