Penzance offshore breakwater takes important step forward

Posted on: 3rd December 2014

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George MP, has welcomed the Government announcement of £150,000 funding towards an Options Appraisal and Business Case Review for a proposed Penzance offshore breakwater. Mr George welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg to Penzance Harbour today to discuss the project with the Project Team which Mr George established earlier this year.

Mr George had asked former Principal of Truro and Penwith College, Jonathan Burnett, to Chair the Team. The project also has the offer of support from Cornwall Council and Penzance Town Council. It is the intention of the Team to press on with the Options Appraisal as soon as possible and to complete the report for wider consultation next summer. The breakwater itself is but one element of a broader ambition for the future of Penzance. But it is pivotal to achieving marine investments in the area.

It is expected that the breakwater itself would not commence construction for at least 5 years. The Government indicate that any options for a breakwater would cost anything between £10 and £75 million at today’s prices.

Mr George said, “This is great news. Just what Penzance needs and deserves.

“The study will assess the prime siting and location for the breakwater and whether it should be extended to become an arm of an outer harbour. It should also explore options for economic regeneration benefits for the area: development of a marina and extended recreational usage; increased marine traffic to Penzance, including visiting Cruise ships; expansion of marine engineering and related industries; improved access to fishing grounds and improved fishing facilities; opportunities for energy generation by incorporation of hydro turbines; potential for spin offs, including beach build up in front of the Promenade; and, of course, the protection of key assets, including the Rail Station, the Harbour, Scillies Ferry and Freight terminal, roads, Jubilee Pool, Pumping Station etc.

“There’s no future for Penzance in turning its back on the sea. The team promoting this project are ambitious for the future of Penzance. We can now crack on with the important first phase.