The dredger, which is carrying out work at Bembridge Harbour. Picture © Mavis Siddons.
A MAJOR dredging programme has started at an Isle of Wight Harbour.
It is the first phase of works at Bembridge Harbour following Fiona and Malcolm Thorpe’s purchase of the harbour just before Christmas.
They said this summer’s near £500,000 improvement programme underlines their commitment to bringing the harbour back into being fully functional "at the earliest opportunity."
The work follows years of complaint about lack of investment under previous ownership which sank the harbour into administration with debts of about £3 million.
ML Dredging Ltd won the contract to dredge 12,000 cubic metres of silt. It is due to be complete by June 15.
Walcon Marine will then bring in its piling barge to replace all the piles of Fishermen’s Pontoon and reposition some of the existing piles on the Duver Pontoon.
Walcon will then completely renew Fishermen’s Pontoon to include mid-pontoon storage bins for all fishermen and extend the visitors’ pontoon to 69 metres. That work is expected to be finished by July 15.
A second phase of dredging to remove a similar amount of silt and dump it near the Nab Tower is scheduled for October. It will include Bembridge Marina and the commercial Fishermen’s pontoon.