�3.2m Southwold Harbour work is ‘progressing smoothly’

It may look like any old building site.

But the sight of workmen shifting materials near the banks of the Blyth Estuary is a welcome one for fishermen in Southwold, as a long-awaited construction project is now well under way at the town's harbour.

The �3.2m regeneration scheme to boost its fishing facilities and carry out vital repairs to the North Dock Wall is making good progress, with the work likely to be completed by the end of October.

It comes after the project was delayed by a series of setbacks that left it months behind schedule.

A spokesman for Waveney District Council, which is overseeing the project, said: 'The vital works to safeguard the future of Southwold harbour are progressing smoothly and on schedule to be finished by the end of October.

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'About 300m of new sheet-piling wall and other quay works are being put in place to make the wall secure and safe for years to come, and new facilities are also being installed for fishermen which include a cooling unit and fuel storage.

'We hope that everyone can put up with the current disruption which are trying to keep to a minimum, but when it is finished in a few months time it will mean a long term future for the harbour which can only be good news for everybody.'

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The district council set aside �2m and successfully secured a further �1.22m from the EU European Fisheries Fund (EU EFF) to fund the scheme. It will provide improved facilities for fishermen, including new moorings, a refrigeration area and ice-making machine, storage compounds, a 55kg capacity crane to lift boxes from boats to shore, electricity hook-ups, a diesel store, and the provision of a CCTV system.

The funding will also pay for the re-positioning of the Southwold RNLI crew's winch and davit to a site north-west of the lifeboat station in Ferry Road.

The working harbour had been run by the district council since the 1970. In 2003, it revealed plans to sell the caravan site located at the harbour.

In 2010, the freehold was handed to the newly-formed Southwold Harbour Lands Trust, which was set up to oversee the regeneration of the area and secure the future of the site.

The harbour improvement plans were revised two years ago following a consultation with residents, businesses and stakeholders.

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