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£4m is needed for jetty

Tweedmouth harbour jetty

Tweedmouth harbour jetty

Berwick Harbour Commission is making a concerted effort to secure the estimated £4m needed for a new approach jetty at Tweed Dock.

It has identified the deteriorating condition of the damaged wooden structure as its main priority over the coming year.

Andy Richardson, chairman of Commissioners, said: “We must continue to re-invest in the port and our primary objective in 2014 must be to address the deteriorating condition of the Tweed Dock approach jetty.

“This structure is a vital navigational aid and is essential in ensuring safe passage of vessels to and from the Tweed Dock.

“The cost to replace the jetty will be around £4m and grant funding support will need to be identified.

“Work in identifying possible funding opportunities is already underway and our efforts will increase as the year moves on.”

The jetty was badly damaged when it was hit by two ships in 2012.

If funding can be secured, it is hoped its replacement could incorporate pontoons providing safe berthing for a number of yachts.

It could also be a suitable area for a landing stage to bring visitors from cruise vessels and river cruises ashore.

At the Commission’s AGM,

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Mr Richardson added: “The replacement of the approach jetty will secure the long term future of the port and the economic benefits to the town and borough that a vibrant port realises.

“I consider that the Port of Berwick is of considerable economic benefit to our region and has the potential to become an even more significant factor in the prosperity of the area.”

He said it had been ‘a satisfying and productive year for the Commission’ in which it had enjoyed a significantly increased net profit after tax of £65,401.

“This positive result is encouraging and clearly demonstrates the potential and capability of the port,” said Mr Richardson.

The port benefited from an increase in barley importations during 2013 and has also invested heavily in new cargo machinery to cater for larger vessels entering Tweed Dock.

As a result, cargo tonnage handled in the port during the year rose to 100,621 tonnes, an increase of 17 per cent from 2012.

Cargoes handled included malting barley, oilseed rape, fertiliser and cement.

Mr Richardson continued: “It has been clear for some time that the size of vessel visiting the port is increasing and we realised that our cargo machinery required upgrading to cater for these large vessels.

“I consider the machinery upgrade to be a positive step and it will enable us to market the port more vigorously in the knowledge that we can attract the larger vessels.

“As we move forward we must strive to continue to develop and grow the port. New customers and cargoes must be sought and we are now in a position to market the port with increased confidence.”

 

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