WALES' secretary of state David TC Davies said he looks forward to seeing the progress of Barry's proposed marina, despite concerns £20 million might not be enough to see the project through.

Local councillor and resident of the Waterfront councillor Mark Hooper said he had "concerns about the practical implementation of the funding", however, in a recent visit to Barry, Mr Davies waxed lyrical about the plans saying he was excited about the benefits it would bring the town.

But is Mr Davies jumping the gun a little?

Barry was only given the £20 million UK levelling up funding in November 2023 and there are no diggers in sight or boats bobbing on the horizon waiting to fill the new marina as of yet.

In fact, you’re more likely to find diggers on the other development in the area, Barry Waterfront’s huge housing development, built in collaboration between Persimmon Homes, Taylor Wimpey and Barratt, where work is STILL being done to finish the development.

Residents who moved into the area as far back as three years ago are still waiting for street lighting to come online and community areas to be built.

And then there’s the “ghost” business town in the centre of the Waterfront development where shopping units have been built but remain empty.

However, there was a ray of light to scare away some of the ghosts in the business district as one business, Asian street food chain Koi Nooshi, opened there last Friday, January 26.

Despite this “business revival”, one local councillor and Waterfront resident still questions whether £20 million really is enough to build a marina.

Cllr Mark Hooper questioned the figure, asking to see concrete plans on how the marina project will be delivered.

Cllr Hooper told us back in November: “I have concerns about the practical implementation of the funding within the tight deadlines and its benefit for the local community.”

But, champion for the Marina project, MP for the Vale, Conservative Alun Cairns has a polar opposite opinion and was delighted to score the funding for Barry, saying the marina will be a “game changer” attracting investment.

Barry And District News: Mr Davies with Mr Cairns visiting Barry's waterfront recentlyMr Davies with Mr Cairns visiting Barry's waterfront recently (Image: Supplied)

Barry And District News: Is this too become the next great water sports location in the UK?Is this too become the next great water sports location in the UK? (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Davies' visit to the marina was peppered with quotes about how well the Conservative government is doing announcing the success of “our Marina”.

However, when pressed on the funding and whether it was definitely enough - bearing in mind harbour projects and the like can run into the hundreds of millions - Mr Davies left the answer on a bit of a cliff-hanger.

“The council requested £20 million for the marina project in their levelling-up bid” said Mr Davies, “that is what has been awarded by the UK Government.

“The council is responsible for the delivery of the scheme and the secretary of state looks forward to seeing how things progress.”

Barry And District News: Cllr and Waterfront resident has concerns about the ambitious plansCllr and Waterfront resident has concerns about the ambitious plans (Image: Newsquest)

Barry And District News: There is still work being done on the housing development in the areaThere is still work being done on the housing development in the area (Image: Newsquest)

So, to the council and Vale leader Labour’s Lis Burnett who said on the marina plans: “This funding will enable us to take the transformation of Barry, and in particular the Waterfront, to the next level.

“At a time when the council’s budgets are under significant strain, this additional funding will provide money for the longer-term to deliver improvements that otherwise we simply could not afford.

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“The two regeneration projects will focus on creating sustainable jobs, more opportunities for learning and training, improved public infrastructure, and through it a better connection between the town centre and Waterfront.

“The Making Waves initiative is one we have developed with local communities, and to have a chance to put into action plans that our residents have helped create is tremendously exciting.”

To be continued…

Do you believe Barry will get its marina? Is £20m enough? Sceptical? Can’t wait to see it? For the marina idea, or against it? Let us know, in comments, on Facebook, or emailing

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