As readers may already know, the Solent Gateways project announced last autumn, which is designed to improve connectivity between the Isle of Wight and Southampton, will also include funding to deliver a new Chain Ferry for Cowes at a cost of circa £4m. Cowes Harbour Commission recognises the importance of this vital transport link between East Cowes and Cowes for residents, businesses, and visitors alike.
However, the Chain Ferry is located at the narrowest point of the River Medina and impacts on the navigable depth and therefore the size and draught of ships that can use the river south of the ‘floating bridge’. The Chain Ferry also has significant safety and navigation impacts which require careful management and consideration during the design process for the new ‘floating bridge’. As a result, Harbour Master Capt. Stuart McIntosh has been invited by the Isle of Wight Council to sit on the steering board for the procurement of the new Chain Ferry for the harbour.
As reported in the Isle of Wight County Press last week, a public consultancy is due to take place with residents and businesses from the Isle of Wight being encouraged to have their say on the multi-million pound Solent Gateways plans to create a new look for East Cowes. ’East Cowes Regeneration,’ part of the Solent Gateways development project, is holding a public consultation event today (Thursday, 28th May) and local people are invited to come along. The event will be held at East Cowes Town Hall from 1000 to 1900 and will provide an opportunity to find out more about the plans and have your say.
‘East Cowes Regeneration’, a collection of local organisations working together, has set up a dedicated website to give residents and businesses the latest information and news. It also features a question and answer section, where people can find out commonly asked questions about the Solent Gateways project and submit their own to be answered.
The Solent Gateways scheme will be funded partly through money from the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency, and partly from private sector funds. The Isle of Wight Council, Southampton City Council and Red Funnel have bid for a potential £15m grant from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, which will be used to fund the East Cowes Regeneration Project and a new Cowes Chain Ferry, as well as work on Southampton waterfront.
This scheme will assist with the re-configuration of the Red Funnel East Cowes terminal, including access roads, town centre public realm and good quality waterfront areas. At Southampton, the project will see a relocation of the Red Funnel vehicle ferry terminal to Berth 50, near the Ocean Cruise Terminal.
CHC will share further updates with stakeholders as they become available.
Stop Press 4th June:
Around 600 people attended the public consultation to find out more about plans for the regeneration of East Cowes. If you were unable to make it you can still see the latest designs and have your say by filling out the online questionnaire on the East Cowes Regeneration website. Make sure you send your feedback by 8th June.