Big expansion planned for Aberystwyth Marina within the next month 13/4/06

The boom in marinas along the Welsh coast continues apace as Aberystwyth Marina prepares for the installation of 50 new berths to add to its existing 100 capacity site.

The expansion comes in the wake of increasing demand for marina berths throughout Wales and will hopefully be completed by the end of May in time to meet the late spring rush for berths.

Sion Edwards, the Marina Manager explained: “We’ve been operating at full capacity now for some time and it will be a welcome relief to a number of owners who are on our waiting list.”

Unlike the south coast, mid-Wales is an area not generally perceived as a hotbed of yachting activity. However, this belies the fact that in the past decade demand for spaces has far outstripped supply. This demand is highlighted a little way up the coast at Pwllheli where there are 450 owners on the waiting list for a space at the marina.

Located in Cardigan Bay, Aberystwyth is deep in the heart of rural Wales, however, it has access to a number of excellent cruising grounds, such as southern Ireland and the west coast of Scotland. The Welsh coast also offers an excellent stopover for boats heading from the south coast up to Scotland.

Although there was initial opposition from locals when the marina was built in 1995 there has been no resistance to the planned expansion. Edwards continued: “The Marina brings in an extra £300-400,000 annually into the area and I think most people now recognise the value of this to the local economy.”

The value of the marina has been recognised by the Welsh Assembly, who partly funded the project. This recognition lies in stark contrast to proposed plans to expand Pwllheli marina which, according to Will Williams of Pwllheli Marina, Gwynedd council voted against amidst fears that it would dilute the Welsh language and create too many second homes in the area.

Although the cost of keeping a yacht in the new marina varies, the price guide ranges from £1,350 per annum for a yacht under 6m to £2,800 for a 13.2m yacht.

For more details on Aberystwyth Marina log onto .