Supporting Huge Development Plans for Whitehaven

Two projects are set to transform Whitehaven harbour. Funded through Sellafield Ltd’s social impact, multiplied programme, the projects will open up the West Cumbrian coastline

The Edge is expected to open its doors in early 2022
The Edge is expected to open its doors in early 2022

Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners are behind the first project, a multi-million-pound programme to make Whitehaven the tourism capital of the Cumbrian coastline.

The £3.6 million coastal activities centre called The Edge is being funded by Sellafield Ltd and the Coastal Communities Fund.

Work on the project began earlier this month and is expected to open its doors in early 2022.

It will feature accommodation, storage facilities, and flexible activity spaces and will become a spectacular starting point for the world-famous C2C cycle route.

Celia MacKenzie, chief executive of the Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, said:

We’re incredibly excited about the potential of the harbour regeneration programme.
This is the latest of many investments we’ve made over the years which are all designed to maximise Whitehaven’s potential as a tourism capital.
The idea is to open up the coastline to residents and tourists and provide a new start point for the world famous C2C cycle challenge.
Cumbria currently lacks a dedicated facility to support those undertaking water sports and recreational activities on its coastline, making it one of the country’s most under-utilised regions for coastline activities.
The Edge will fill the gap by providing direct access to the sea via a new slipway, and I’d like to thank everyone who uses and values the harbour for their patience and understanding as we begin the necessary construction works.
This will be a fantastic asset for the harbour and the community. Whether you’re a cyclist looking for somewhere to start your challenge, an explorer looking to access the England Coast Path, a school group looking for a coastal or overnight adventure, or a community group looking for space to hold activities or workshops, The Edge will be for you.

Elsewhere in the marina, Sellafield Ltd is investing in a cutting-edge filtration system that will be installed into the harbour, putting the town on a par with Dubai and Sydney.

Developed and delivered by the Whitehaven Harbour Youth Project, our £100,000 investment will fund a filtration system that will feature a network of floating ‘seabins’ as well an environmental education programme.

Whitehaven already has one Seabin in operation, sponsored by the Whitehaven Marina.

The youth project will be working with the marina to add 6 more Seabins to filter and remove plastics, microplastics and oil from the water, creating a cleaner and safer environment for water sports and marine wildlife.

By 2023, Whitehaven Marina will be the first in the world to boast 7 Seabins, putting the town ahead of Dubai, which has 6, and Sydney, which has 2. Only 4 other places in the UK have them.

The environmental education programme will involve local schools and other community groups in the area and provide education about plastic pollution and its impact on the local and global environment.

The harbour redevelopment is the second investment to be announced in Sellafield Ltd’s newly relaunched social impact programme, SiX (social impact, multiplied).

The company, along with its owner the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, is providing £1.15 million for the Edge and a further £93,500 for the Seabins.

Gary McKeating, head of community and development at Sellafield Ltd, said:

The harbour regeneration is a great example of the SiX ethos.
We’ve co-created these plans with Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners and the Whitehaven Harbour Youth Project, leveraged additional funding, and the results will be schemes that will benefit as many people as possible.
That’s what we mean by social impact multiplied: working with others to create investments which are more than the sum of their parts.
This will create jobs, significantly develop Whitehaven’s tourism offer, and help strengthen and diversify the local economy.

Notes to Editors

Coastal Communities Fund The Great British Coast has enormous economic potential and this government is determined to see it thrive all year round.

That’s why by 2020 the government will have invested over £200 million in our much loved seaside areas through dedicated programmes like Coastal Communities Fund to help in generating jobs and boosting businesses.

So far, analysis has shown that this has been money well spent with every £1 invested having the potential to create an up to £8 boost to our coastal economies.

To find out more visit: Coastal communities fund

Grant recipients are free to publicise their project award however best suits their needs. But if you would like some further facts about the fund, or the wider regeneration work going on across the country, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is always happy to help.

Some additional key facts:

  • more than 11 million people live across the Great British Coast

  • the coastal tourism industry contributes £8 billion to the economy each year

  • the first 4 rounds of the Coastal Communities Fund invested over £173 million in 295 projects across the UK

  • Those projects are predicted to create or safeguard up to 18,000 good jobs UK-wide

  • across our Great British Coast we’ve got heritage hooks to be proud of, but some of these places need some tender, loving, care. That’s why MHCLG has also invested £7.8 million through the Coastal Revival Fund to get 189 brilliant British coastal heritage assets back into ship-shape

End of an Era Statue relocation:

  • the proposal is to move the statue to an alternative site approximately 200/300 metres further towards The Beacon (adjacent to West Strand).

  • arguably this ultimately places the statue in a more prominent position and closer to the footfall of The Beacon and the town centre, and it will still be in the harbour setting

  • the move was agreed by the Miners Welfare Social Committee who installed it in 2005

  • Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners met with the committee in March, responded to their concerns about the plinth and then received their approval that planning permission should be sought in May

  • specialist contractors will be used to assess and carry out the work with appropriate insurance in place

  • the statue may need to be stored temporarily while a new, identical plinth is constructed