PEOPLE taking a walk around Lydney Harbour will have noticed that construction work has begun as part of the first phase of a £2.1m project.
Destination Lydney Harbour - funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Coastal Community Fund - is designed to create safe, attractive transport routes into the historic docks area and help develop it as a recreation and tourism destination.
The buildings currently being upgraded are the old mortuary and store buildings which will become the new accessible toilets and heritage information point.
Alongside these existing buildings will be a new modular café that will serve light refreshments to visitors.
Richard Morgan, Forest Council regeneration officer, said: “We’ve been planning this work since we received the news that the Lydney Coastal Communities Team’s (LCCT) bid was successful and we are delighted to make a start on site.
“Of course the COVID-19 pandemic has meant for some programme rescheduling, but our fantastic contractors have worked with us to overcome these obstacles and ensure safe practices on site.
“The building work should finish by October with the café installation and opening scheduled for next year.
“The LCCT members include the Environment Agency and Lydney Yacht Club, both of which have been instrumental in works getting underway.”
As well as the work to the buildings, mooring and seating points will be installed and improvements made to cycle and walking routes, highway and station approach.
Signage will also be improved in the 205-year-old harbour, a new walking trail developed and a two-part public artwork installed.
Lydney Skiff, a community rowing boat building project is also underway – bringing this traditional craft back to Severnside in the harbour and along Lydney Canal.
Demolition work has also been taking place at the Pine End Works former aircraft factory site, targeted for a purpose-designed smokery, eel farm, visitor centre, shops and restaurant for the Severn and Wye Smokery, which is currently based at Chaxhill.
Forest councillor Bernie O’Neill, Cabinet member for Economy said: “The news that the Destination Lydney Harbour project has started on site is very welcome.
“As the COVID-19 lockdown eases we are entering a critical period of recovery, the completion of the harbour regeneration project will help strengthen our community and local economy and complement the immediate work we are doing now to ensure people feel safe when they come into our towns.”
The project covers the area from the A48 roundabout on Harbour Road to the docks and harbour and aims to improve connections through to the town centre.
The LCCT is a multi-partnership group with membership representing interests at the local, district and county level.
Formed in 2015 as an open forum, anyone with an interest in the docks and harbour is welcome to attend. The next meeting is to be scheduled shortly.
More information can be found on the Forest Council’s webpage: Lydney Docks & Harbour.
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