The gates, which weigh 90 tonnes each, were installed as part of a £6m project to speed up lock times and improve accessibility into and out of Milford Docks and Marina. They have been fitted one third of the way down the giant 120m lock that was originally commissioned 126 years ago. The Dock Lock project is the single largest investment ever at Milford Marina and is one of the largest civil engineering projects of its type undertaken in the UK over the last 2 years. It is key to making the area a marine leisure hub for west Wales.
The project is part of Visit Wales' Coastal Tourism Project, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, to encourage tourism along the Welsh coastline. The building work for the project took 18 months to complete, requiring thousands of tonnes of concrete and steel to be buried either side and on the bottom of the lock to create a sill and hangers capable of taking the pressure exerted by the lock gates and huge volumes of water.
Alaric Churchill, Marina and Docks Manager, says for leisure users either based in or wanting to visit Milford Marina, it will transform the experience of accessing the outstanding facilities of west Wales’ only 4 Gold Anchor accredited Marina. “Boats can now come and go more often and more quickly. Now that there’s less waiting to get in, we want everyone to know we very much welcome visitors on a day out, or those wanting a perfect base for their boat from which to explore Pembrokeshire’s beautiful coastline.”
Chief Executive of the Port of Milford Haven, Alec Don added, “This has been a challenging but exciting project and we are delighted to finally announce its completion in readiness for this year’s summer season. This achievement also marks the end of the first phase of our £70 million regeneration scheme – the Milford Dock Master Plan, which is gaining momentum following its planning approval earlier this year. It is definitely an exciting time for the Port as our diversification strategy begins to pay off.”
Alaric added, “We just want to say a huge thank you to all the dock and marina users and local residents who’ve put up with the works and lock closures over the past few months. I would now love everyone to come and try out the new system and experience the improvements for themselves.