A MULTI-MILLION pound boatyard was officially opened at Chichester Harbour on Saturday (April 26).
A special plaque at Premier Marina’s new addition to Chichester Harbour was unveiled by Siún Cranny, the director of Chichester Harbour Conservancy, who praised the company as a ‘business role model’.
“Having sailed in and out of various harbours around the world, it only takes two seconds to arrive in a boatyard to feel it’s a wonderful place for your vessel to be,” she said to deputy chairman of Premier Marinas Rupert Boissier.
“When we came to visit just as you were finishing the project, it took me two seconds to stand in the middle of the boatyard and think this is fantastic.”
She spoke of the importance of conserving the area of outstanding natural beauty and how the work done by Premier Marinas was helping the conservancy.
“In today’s world we’ve got lots of modern challenges, particularly the fact we’re based in a conurbation.
“Already two of our villages in the AONB are no longer considered to be rural.
“That gives you a flavour of the challenge that the conservancy has because we’re in such a precious place, and indeed the world is progressing upon us and those modern challenges in that world make our job more challenging.”
Speaking just after the £3.5m boatyard was opened, Mr Boissier said everyone had been ‘blessed’ by the weather, which saw bright sunshine showing off the new boatyard at its very best.
“We’re absolutely delighted with the new boatyard and it provides a new chapter in Chichester Marina’s proud history,” he said.
“We work very closely with the conservancy and this is a very special place.”
He thanked Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council, Chichester Yacht Club and the harbour conservancy and all the others who had been involved with the project.
He added the project needed to be a ‘balance of interests between economic, social and environmental’.
Siún also spoke about looking to the future for the harbour. “Certainly, what the conservancy celebrates is a world-class competitive and leisure sailing area and we in the conservancy really want to maintain and develop that and look to the future maintaining that tradition.
“We want everyone who visits here to fall in love with the place, knowing a bit more about it and desperately wanting to protect it and really understanding the world is encroaching and that it’s a very fragile ecosystem and no one little group of people can achieve it on their own.
“We all have to work together to make sure we do maintain this beautiful place into the future.”
Scores turned out for the opening, with the marina hosting a live jazz band, a barbecue, morris dancing and family attractions, including craft-making, face-painting, a clown, ladies’ fashion accessories and more.