September Update on the Weymouth Quay Project. (posted slightly late sorry)
So apologies for the quiet over the summer, but it was THE SUMMER. Which in Weymouth means all hands on deck, and we will have time to think when the Autumn comes. It is time there was an update of what’s happening with Weymouth Coastal Community Team.
First news on the BIG PROJECT!
Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project to be precise! Work has started. Delighted after waiting for so long.
Part one of the Quay Project is repairing the walls to the Harbour (the ones alongside Custom House Quay ..Wall D) and bring that area of the Harbour that has been cordoned off for safety reasons, back into use. There has been a lot of speculation online that this will somehow prevent any future use, if (and it is a Big IF) a Ferry company wants to run from Weymouth. So lets be clear NO IT WILL NOT. The Ferry Link span will still be there and the moorings will be more accessible (or parking for the boats if you like), the Harbour walls will be strong.
Once the Harbour wall is repaired and strong, work on making the waterside accessible to everyone will start with a walkway. The WQRP funding is enough to run a walkway from Custom House Quay up to the end of the Peninsula, so that’s where it starts. Beyond that, it gets wet.
The Coastal Community Team/WQRP Board is meeting regularly and gets to hear the progress reports from two teams:
The Build Team: this team is headed up by Dorset Council civil engineers. Their job is to get the Harbour work done and also get the work started on the one building included in the funds. The Quay building. I am sure there will be discussions over what it is called later, but right now, it is about getting the building on track. We are hope to have the architect confirmed by the end of October, and the Project Board are really keen that any building should be as ‘green’ as possible and should provide local jobs during the build phase, as well as when the building is ready for use.
The ‘Service Offer’ Team: OK, all that means is what happens in the building. Part of it is for Harbour purposes but the rest is the ‘Centre of Excellence for Small Medium Enterprise’ that was written in the bid. This is where collaboration comes in. The Service Offer Team includes, local councillors, the Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce, the Weymouth College, the Weymouth Area Development Trust (lead) and others. The first meeting of this team is on 8th October 2019. Its job is to put together what will happen in the building, the work space, the training, the apprenticeship offer, access for the public, the support services for freelancers and small businesses and the employment space. What we want for Weymouth is for there to be a ‘waiting list’ even before the doors open in Spring 2020.
Oh yes, I am going there. So the overall grant fund from central Government Coastal Communities Fund is £3.79 million, but there is also match funding of about £3 million plus funding from Dorset Council going into the Harbour repairs etc. So this is a BIG PROJECT. The purse strings i.e. financial accountability, sit with Dorset Council and they do have a Peninsula Programme Board that the other groups feed into.
The responsibility for making sure the aims of the project are met, that means the jobs and businesses coming into Weymouth Town Centre/ Melcombe Regis sits with the Weymouth Quay Regeneration Board in Weymouth.
How can you get involved/ find out more?
First of all, if you are a Harbour User, you can ask your rep on the Harbour Users Consultative Group https://www.weymouth-harbour.co.uk/HarbourConsultativeGroup/ , you can also ask the Harbour Master directly (just don’t ask him about Parking Boats…I am sure I saw him wince when I said it)
You can keep an eye on this Blog site. You can join the Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce https://www.wpchamber.co.uk/and ask the President . If you are in the Weymouth BID area you can contact the BID office http://www.weymouthbid.co.uk/. If that still doesn’t include you then your local Councillors have access to updates.
You can also contact Weymouth Area Development Trust via their Starfish Enterprise Cowork Hub Project on 01305 457887 for anything about the ‘Centre of Excellence for SMEs.’