Berwick bids for £2m fund to revitalise port

A successful funding bid could pay for repairs to the Tweed Dock jetty.
A successful funding bid could pay for repairs to the Tweed Dock jetty.

An ambitious funding bid for the redevelopment of the Tweed Dock in Berwick-upon-Tweed could be put together this autumn.

Berwick Town Council has agreed in principle to participate in a bid to the Coastal Communities Fund run by the National Lottery.

Amble received £1.8 million for the redevelopment of its harbour in a previous round and a new round is planned to launch in the autumn, for projects to start in 2017.

Councillor Eric Goodyer said: “Well, if they can get £1.8 million we’re bigger than them so I don’t see why we can’t push for £2 million. We deserve that money.

“I know there are ideas out there such as reinvigorating the port, having the marina and there should be others.”

He added: “If we do bid for the £2 million we should invite Northumberland County Council’s local growth team to assist with that. It was them that managed to turn Amble’s bid into a success and they are rather good at it.”

Chancellor George Osborne signalled his strong support for the bid when he visited Tweed Dock prior to the General Election with Anne-Marie Trevelyan, now Berwick MP.

Berwick Harbour Commission is hopeful of finding a way of funding the project in the light of the knock-back it suffered last year.

Last spring, it identified the deteriorating condition of the damaged wooden structure as its main priority for the year ahead. The costs of constructing a new approach jetty were estimated at £4 million.

If funding can be secured, the harbour commission hopes its replacement could incorporate pontoons providing safe berthing for a number of yachts and a suitable area for a landing stage to bring visitors from cruise vessels and river cruises ashore.

Alan Irving, chief executive of Berwick Harbour Commission, said: “The Harbour Commission remain committed to replacing the deteriorating jetty and would wish this ‘once in a lifetime’ work to incorporate some leisure aspects which could be significantly beneficial to the town and borough. Visiting cruise ship passengers is the obvious one.

“The commission are currently at an advanced stage of discussion with county council as we seek the necessary funding to undertake the jetty work, Coastal Community Fund is one of several funding streams being researched at this time.”