Cowes Harbour Commission
Harbour Authority & Marine Services Provider
Newsletter 22nd February 2017
Stakeholder-led 'Port Master Plan' for Cowes
Following the introduction of CHC's 5 year Strategic Plan in 2016 and the Commission's commitment to promote sustainable harbour development policies to safeguard existing and support new businesses, services, investment and employment, we are now working to facilitate a stakeholder-led Port Master Plan for Cowes. Please see our lead article below for further details.

Other news this month includes an Outer Harbour Project update, information on Marine Conservation Zones consultation, and news on essential harbour water taxi services.

Captain Stuart McIntosh Cowes Harbour Master
Port Master Plan for Cowes
A ‘Port Master Plan’ for Cowes, that aims to address harbour and marine stakeholder development issues, is being proposed by Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) and major stakeholders following extensive consultation.

Cowes Harbour is renowned as the maritime gateway to the Isle of Wight and is a major contributor to the economy of the whole Island. 

A key objective in CHC’s Strategic Plan for 2016-21 is the development of a stakeholder driven ‘Port Master Plan’. This is in response to feedback from stakeholders on the need for a strategic harbour and marine services development plan, based on the current and future requirements of stakeholders, including commercial and leisure harbour users, and the local community.

The Commission’s objective proposes the agreement of a: “Port Master Plan that identifies current and long-term growth strategies to future-proof the port’s infrastructure and services whilst complementing the wider, local and regional plans and policies.” 

Read the full article on the CHC website
Cowes Week 2017 at Shepards
Cowes Harbour Commission has welcomed JHAV Ltd as the new event partner for Shepards Wharf Marina, one of four affiliate shoreside venues for the annual Cowes Week regatta. 

This year, Shepards Wharf Marina has rebranded as ‘Cowes at Shepards’ and event partner JHAV aims to develop and enhance the venue’s reputation as the yachtsman’s après-racing location of choice during the eight-day regatta. 

Jock Rafferty, Manager at Shepards Wharf Marina said: “Central to our Cowes Week offer is ensuring that we focus on regatta competitors and marina customers in the provision of all our shoreside activities, and that ‘Cowes at Shepards’ successfully complements the overall Cowes Week event.”

Read more online
There has been some encouraging progress on the Cowes Outer Harbour Project with CHC able to report that a new provisional timeline has been agreed with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the HCA’s development partners VQEL (Camper & Nicholsons and Westcourt Real Estate).

The harbour infrastructure is due to be delivered under a ‘Harbour Infrastructure Funding Agreement’ (HIFA) between the HCA, their developers, and CHC, with work on the Eastern Channel dredge and Shrape extension now planned for the last quarter of the year, potentially starting soon after Cowes Week. However, CHC emphasises that this is still very much a provisional timeline and is reliant on completion of the HIFA agreement with the HCA and their development partners.
Commissioner vacancy
If you would like to help steer a course for Cowes Harbour – then have you considered volunteering as a Harbour Commissioner? Applications are welcomed from all those with an interest in public service who can demonstrate commitment and local knowledge. Visit the CHC website to find out more and to apply, or call the Harbour Office on 01983 293952. Applications may be submitted up to Friday, 3rd March 2017.
Marine Conservation Zones
DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) has now embarked on Tranche 3 of the Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) designation programme with three MCZs under consideration in the Solent; Yarmouth to Cowes, Norris to Ryde, and Bembridge.

The aim of this Tranche is to complete the Blue Belt, an ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around England. Through this process, Natural England’s role will be to provide evidence-based scientific advice.

Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) shares some of the concerns raised by stakeholders that recreational boating, and local ports and harbours in the Solent could be adversely affected by these MCZs sites and will be engaging with Natural England to ensure that MCZ designation does not have a detrimental impact on local stakeholders' interests.

Read more online and see details of Natural England drop-in sessions in the Solent area
Fuel berth maintenanceThe Cowes Harbour Fuels storage barge will be slipped at South Boats on 27th February for her three-yearly inspection. 

The fuel berth will be open as usual on Saturday, 25th February, but will be closed from Sunday, 26th for a period of up to 10 days, with remediation works being carried out to ensure it is ready for the coming season.
Cowes Harbour Handbook 2017-18 out soon
This year’s  Handbook, to be published in time for Easter, will include increased information on Cowes High Street, marine businesses, and events. The publication will have improved distribution in Cowes and further afield. 

A limited number of advertisement pages are still available. To book, please call 01425 470950 or email: office@horizon-publishing.co.uk
Water taxis for the 2017 seasonIn order to ensure the provision of a cost-effective water taxi service that meets the needs of harbour stakeholders during the 2017 season, CHC has reached an agreement with Cowes Water Taxis Ltd to provide a 7-day-a-week service from 1st April to 30th September.

CHC has decided to make a stakeholder benefit contribution towards Cowes Water Taxis’ operational costs to enable a daily service to be delivered. This supported water taxi service will benefit all harbour users, including CHC’s licenced mooring holders, visitors to swinging moorings and river pontoons, and marina customers. Find out more on the CHC website
Cowes Harbour Commission | 01983 293952 | chc@cowes.co.uk | cowesharbourcommission.co.uk