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Guernsey's marina facilities now "second-grade" and lagging behind competition

Guernsey's marina facilities now

Thursday 13 May 2021

Guernsey's marina facilities now "second-grade" and lagging behind competition

Thursday 13 May 2021

The potential for a new £95m marina in Havelet Bay has been shot down, after the idea was mooted in a study of future harbour requirements.

Marina Projects has undertaken a study to identify “opportunities to expand the island’s leisure marine appeal”, concluding that Guernsey's current facilities need major upgrades.

“Ideally we need new marina space, and for that we will be needing to invest millions,” said Harbourmaster, Captain David Barker, following the publication of ambitious £360m proposals to move all bulk and freight imports to a newly-created harbour at Longue Hougue South. 

“What we are able to offer, particularly to visitors, has not kept pace with other alternative destinations.”


Pictured: There’s a lack of berths for larger vessels at the moment.

The President of the Guernsey Boatowners Association agreed, saying that Guernsey is losing out on visitors to competitors as a result.

“Guernsey is now second-grade compared to Jersey and the entire French coast,” said Nick Guillemette.

“People simply don’t come here anymore because the facilities aren’t as good as other jurisdictions.”

To spend millions on revamping Guernsey’s offering would require justification, something Captain Barker hopes the survey offers.

“The challenge therefore is to ensure there is sufficient demand to justify that sort of investment – the study by Marina Projects should help us build that case,” he said.


Pictured: A possible new marina in Havelet would cost up to £95 million, according to current estimates. 

One controversial idea is to convert Havelet Bay into a new marina.

“It has rightly been identified as a possibility, but it is one that we have to acknowledge is not going to be popular with everyone,” said Captain Barker.

Express posed the idea to Mr Guillemette, who did not believe it made much sense. 

“The idea has cropped up quite a bit in the past,” he said. “It has been shot down in the past because the south easterly gales that come in through there would make it untenable.

“It would be a far better idea to spend the money on developing the ‘pool’ instead."

The pool is the area just outside the Victoria Marina and allows for larger boat moorings because of the deeper water; however, berth space here is currently limited.

town Guernsey st Peter port boat harbour boats

Pictured: The survey identified Guernsey as having an attractive, historic waterfront which could be better utilised to attract visiting yachts.

“The redevelopment of the pool area could be the jewel in the crown,” said Mr Guillemette. “It is currently underutilised and needs to be upgraded.”

The idea was raised in the survey and looks to be more feasible.

“There are other opportunities [instead of Havelet bay development] within the inner harbour in St Peter Port and potentially at St Sampsons, that we are actively looking at which are probably easier to achieve," Captain Barker added.

“[The marina developments] are not all dependent on whether we decide to relocate some current commercial activity, but that does present more opportunities for developing the leisure marine offering."

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