Work on Lydney Harbour’s long awaited regeneration has begun.
The work is the first phase of the £2.1 million Destination Lydney Harbour project, funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Coastal Community Fund. The project, devised by Lydney Coastal Community Team (LCCT), will improve the transport roots into Lydney Harbour and develop the area as a recreation and tourism destination.
Lydney Harbour was a prominent local harbour for coal, iron ore and other commodities and was originally the last port on the Severn at which sea-going boats could unload. The current harbour was built in the early 19th century and is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade 2 Listed Building currently identified by Heritage England within their Heritage at Risk Register. In the 1960s imported wood was still being brought in by barge from Avonmouth and the harbour remained in commercial use until the 1970s.
The buildings currently being upgraded are the old mortuary and store buildings which will become the new accessible toilets and heritage information point. Alongside these existing buildings will be a new modular café building.
Richard Morgan, Regeneration Officer at Forest of Dean District Council said: “We’ve been planning this work since we received the news that the Coastal Communities Team’s bid was successful and we are delighted to make a start on site. Of course the COVID-19 pandemic has meant for some programme rescheduling but our fantastic contractors have worked with us to overcome these obstacles and ensure safe practices on site. The building work should finish by October with the café opening scheduled for next year. The LCCT members include the Environment Agency and Lydney Yacht Club, both of which have been instrumental in works getting underway.”
As well as the work to the buildings, mooring and seating points will be installed and improvements made to cycle and walking routes, highway, and station approach. Signage will be improved, a new walking trail will be developed and a two-part public artwork will be installed. Lydney Skiff, a community rowing boat building project is also underway – bringing this traditional craft back to Severnside.
Forest of Dean District Councillor, Bernie O’Neill, cabinet member for Economy said: “The news that the Destination Lydney Harbour project has started on site is very welcome. As the COVID-19 lockdown eases we are entering a critical period of recovery, the completion of the harbour regeneration project will help strengthen our community and local economy and complement the immediate work we are doing now to ensure people feel safe when they come into our towns”