VALE Council say the development has changed significantly in wake of plans for Barry to get a new marina.

The UK Government’s Levelling-up fund awarded Barry £20 million for a new marina in November, with Conservative MP for the Vale Alun Cairns describing it as a ‘game changer’.

Despite the announcement, questions have been raised about the practical implementation and benefit for the community.

You can understand why residents of the Waterfront development are a little sceptical about talks of a marina being built on their doorstep.

We were at a public meeting in September where Vale Council leader Lis Burnett and council chief executive Rob Thomas met irate residents to try ensure them they were holding housebuilders Persimmon Homes, Barrett and Taylor Whimpey to account over unfinished work on the site.

In December, we got a guided tour of the development by councillor and Waterfront resident Mark Hooper who showed us unfinished paths, empty business districts, and tools and building waste dumped on the site. It was here Mr Hooper raised concerns about a marina project.

While on the Waterfront, we also met ex-serviceman John Steele, 73, who lives on Ffordd Y Dociau - which had been left for years without street lighting.

Barry And District News: There are big plans for Barry's 'Mole'There are big plans for Barry's 'Mole' (Image: Vale Council)

With all this in mind, when pressed on concerns about whether £20 million will be enough to deliver Barry’s marina project, the Vale Council revealed more about the plans.

A council spokesperson said: "The council is currently working with its advisors, Associated British Ports and UK Government, to ensure the scheme fits within the funding that has been awarded and allow the proposals to progress within the funding window.

"Is important to note that the development has changed significantly since the original round two levelling up bid, and now includes the use of the council's historic Dock office, which will provide much-needed office and incubator space for businesses in Barry.

“It also includes the retention of the ocean watersports trust on the Mole, adjacent to the proposed Marina in a new dedicated building alongside a large public park and events area.

Barry And District News: Unfinished work at Barry's Waterfront housing developmentUnfinished work at Barry's Waterfront housing development (Image: Newsquest)

Barry And District News: Artist impressions of what the marina project could look likeArtist impressions of what the marina project could look like (Image: Vale Council)

"The Barry Making Waves development will be important to the completion of the wider waterfront development, alongside a new multimillion pound purpose-built building for Cardiff and Vale College. 

“It will create improved employment, community, leisure and education opportunities for the waterfront and for Barry as a whole."

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What's been said about Barry’s UK levelling up Waterfront marina bid?

Vale MP Alun Cairns: “I was delighted to announce the success of our Marina bid, particularly having pressed its case across the Vale and in Parliament for years now.

“The Marina will help to attract investment and is part of my plan for the regeneration of Barry. This is levelling up in action.”

Welsh Secretary David TC Davies: “I was delighted to be in Barry to hear about the benefits that a Marina will bring to the town, showing how our investments are making a huge difference to communities.

“The council requested funding of £20 million, the Secretary of State looks forward to seeing how things progress.”

Barry And District News: Waterfront resident Cllr Mark Hooper has raised concerns about the marina plansWaterfront resident Cllr Mark Hooper has raised concerns about the marina plans (Image: Newsquest)

Vale Council leader Lis Burnett: “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.

“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.”

Plaid Cymru Councillor Mark Hooper: "I'm cautious about accepting the marketing hype and political slogans around the funding announcement.

"I have concerns about the practical implementation of the funding within the tight deadlines and its benefit for the local community.

"The financial troubles experienced by various marinas across Wales and in neighbouring areas shows the need for careful consideration and scrutiny of the new project.

"That's why I'm concerned that a landmark site in Barry will end up as another housing estate with no facilities, and the Vale scrapping about it after the event, as we have already seen with the wider Waterfront development.”

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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