Category: WaterfrontMarine

Plymouth’s wild swimmers will be able to use a swimming pontoon as the city begins to make waves as the UK’s first National Marine Park.

The floating pontoon has been installed today as part of a pilot scheme to see how well it is used.

Cattewater Harbour Commissioners towed the pontoon to its new home off Tinside before it was secured to the sea bed. The pontoon is the latest in a raft of new facilities that have been popping up along the waterfront, thanks to a grant worth £625,000 from the Getting Building Fund.

New defibrillators have been installed along the waterfront and businesses offered training and the package has also helped fund the digital infrastructure to host the epic SailGP event, which saw thousands enjoy Plymouth at its very best.

Council Leader Nick Kelly said: “Hot on the heels of being awarded the funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to create the first National Marine Park, we are being pro-active in encouraging more people to enjoy the Sound as safely as possible.

"By re-introducing the popular swimming pontoon we are demonstrating that we have listened to people’s requests and this is a practical measure that will help people feel safer whilst undertaking activities in the sea. It will be located off a popular swimming beach and is ideal for swimmers to rest if they get tired or should suffer from cramp.

“This is part of the new Council administration’s continued commitment to improving our amazing waterfront and making the most of this spectacular location through investing in maritime facilities, allowing more people to benefit from our coastal waters and making accessing the sea easier.

“The pontoon is going to be in place for eight weeks over the summer season to see how well it is used and to monitor any issues, with plans to install larger and more permanent platforms next year.”

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership was allocated money from the Government’s Getting Building Fund to invest in major infrastructure projects to support economic growth across the city.  The project is one of a number to be successfully submitted by the Council and partners across the city.

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The HotSW LEP’s Getting Building Fund aims to support shovel-ready projects that will contribute to our area’s post-COVID recovery and support sustained economic growth. We’re delighted to support Plymouth City Council with £625k from the fund towards the waterfront improvements, which will provide safer facilities for swimmers and improved digital infrastructure."

About the National Marine Park

Last month the city learnt that Plymouth Sound, the home of UK’s first National Marine Park had been awarded £9.5 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to make its vision of a park in the sea a reality.

The success of the Heritage Horizon Awards bid means that the city can press on with its vision to help reconnect to the sea, the marine environment and its history.

As well as physical improvements to key gateways to the park, there will be a city wide community engagement programme designed to get all Plymothians in, on, under and next to the water and develop new ‘green’ marine employment opportunities. 

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