A TEN-years-in-waiting wish to establish an Ocean Watersports centre in Barry, was launched on Saturday (April 5)
The event was aimed at raising funds for a Barry Community Water Activity off Number One Dock - to operate under the umbrella of the Ocean Watersports Trust (OWT).
Vale MP Alun Cairns and Vale AM joined the team behind the project at the Docks offices .
The Barry Community Water Activities Centre will enable a wide range of groups, including scouts, cadets and disable groups, to access the waterfront area safely.
OWT chairman Chris Basten said: “The project can now proceed as we have the necessary water Licence with Associated British Ports who own Barry Docks and agreement for a long term lease, when we have the finance and planning in place.
“The plan is to get the phase one which includes full access to the water operational this year, subject to road access being available.
“Phase two is much more expensive and large grant funding has to be sought, as this includes a seven figure sum for the permanent building
“Due to it being the most visible site in Barry, an Iconic Building has to be built.”
Vale MP Alun Cairns, also an OWT trustee, paid tribute to the efforts of fellow trustees and community groups in delivering the centre.
Mr Cairns said: “The establishment of the Ocean Watersports Trust that will operate as Barry Community Water Activities Centre is a significant step that will enable every community group in Barry and beyond that has an interest in water based activities to make use of the waterfront area safely.
“This is a fantastic facility that so many towns across Wales would love to have access to. We will now be opening access to every group. This facility will see Barry leading the way in Wales in terms of access to watersports, whether for scouts, cadets or disabled groups.
“I pay tribute to my fellow trustees who have worked tirelessly in negotiating with ABP, the Vale Council and other groups such as the Sea Cadets and Scouts. There is now a plan to extend access on a much wider basis.
“I am particularly excited by the plan for an iconic building. We estimate that it could be in the region of £1m but want to run a competition on its design. This is a great time to want to be part of water activities and the BCWAC will be central.”
Vale AM Jane Hutt AM said she was delighted to take part in the launch, with young people from sea scouts and sea cadets welcoming guests and showing their sailing and boating skills on the water throughout the day.
She said: “With exciting plans to develop the Barry Community Water Activities Centre on the Mole, to enable community access to water sports including sailing, kayaking and rowing at No 1 Dock Barry, this new charity will make a huge contribution to the regeneration of Barry and provide opportunities for everyone to take part including schools, youth groups. Importantly it will be accessible for disabled people and will be supported by a partnership of volunteers already active in watersports in the Vale of Glamorgan."