Ilfracombe Watersports Centre Funding Approved

Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick MP, has today, given approval, to The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, for £1.5 million to accelerate the construction of the Ilfracombe Watersports Centre via The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).  This is a part of the Government’s £900M Getting Building Fund announced last month.

The future of the Ilfracombe project was in jeopardy given delays and a potential shortfall in funding.  Money had been allocated as part of the Coastal Community Fund and indeed site work had started back in 2018.  Such was the extent of the delay that North Devon Council were faced with potentially having to give the money back to the Government.

Selaine Saxby MP for North Devon said:

“The Government is putting forward a lot of investment to get Britain building again and it is difficult when we lack ‘shovel ready projects’ here in North Devon. The thought, however, of losing funding for a project, that should have already been well under way by now, does not even bear thinking about.  I am delighted this project can now go ahead, with pace, and to see investment in Ilfracombe.  Along with the Southern Extension moving forward and commitment from Openreach that Ilfracombe is part of its early Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) Rural Broadband Scheme I hope signals much more investment coming Ilfracombe’s way.”

The centre itself and the associated infrastructure is on a brownfield site within Ilfracombe Harbour. It will help regenerate the harbour, improve and increase tourism, provide up to 101 direct and indirect jobs and support up to 300 local businesses. The centre will also provide training and events facilities."

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“This economic stimulus will help our plans to restart, revitalise and grow our economy. Each of the projects will support growth of the local economy and deliver the LEP’s outcomes. We welcome the Getting Building Fund to start new projects and accelerate projects across the Heart of the South West.

“We recognise that there are still many other important projects that we identified in our area that currently remain unfunded. We will continue to work with Government to secure future funding to further invest in our recovery pipeline.”