Council unveils £80k boating facility in Portishead

PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 October 2019

The sailing slipway was opened on Friday. Picture: North Somerset Council

The sailing slipway was opened on Friday. Picture: North Somerset Council

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An £80,000 project to promote sailing has been completed and unveiled.

The sailing slipway was opened on Friday. Picture: North Somerset CouncilThe sailing slipway was opened on Friday. Picture: North Somerset Council

A boat launch site at Portishead Quays Marina was opened on Friday, with fledgling sailors to benefit from improved access to the water.

The Parish Wharf launch and recovery area will be used by the town's boating groups and also offer better facilities for disabled sailors.

The slipway was built by local contractor EJ McGrath after consultation with Portishead Yacht and Sailing Club, Portishead Pilot Gig Club and Quay Marinas.

The development, which was commissioned by North Somerset Council and was due to be completed some months ago in the spring, was funded by section 106 contributions from housing developers.

The sailing slipway was opened on Friday. Picture: North Somerset CouncilThe sailing slipway was opened on Friday. Picture: North Somerset Council

A council spokesman said: "The primary purpose of the small slipway is for use by local clubs, particularly for sail training for young people, but individuals can also arrange access by prior arrangement for non-motorised small boats on trolleys.

"Access for sailors unable to use the platforms may also be arranged through the clubs using the site who have been provided with a manual hoist to assist getting in and out of the boats. Contact details will be displayed at the slipway site.

"The scheme includes fixed platform public launch areas and a managed gated small slipway.

"The stepped height platforms allow small craft such as canoes and paddleboards easy access, no matter what the water depth is in the dock.

"The gate to the slipway will prevent unrestricted access and unregulated or unsuitable craft from using the water."

Former North Somerset councillor David Pasley, who was executive member for finance when the project was signed off, believed the slipway would hugely benefit the town's young sailors.

A year ago, he said: "As a coastal town we are flanked by the sea, but while this is a boon for serious yacht and motorboat owners the dangerous currents along the Bristol Channel do not provide safe facilities for inexperienced young people who wish to learn to sail and enjoy the fun of watersports.

"Both North Somerset and town councillors have long hoped to see this section of the marina used so residents and visitors can watch youngsters enjoy and learn from the great water facility we have in Portishead, so I am delighted it is now happening."

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