A contractor has been appointed for an ambitious project to create an activities centre in Whitehaven.
Flimby-based Thomas Armstrong has been awarded the contract for The Edge by Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners.
The commissioners say The Edge will see Whitehaven’s historic harbour transformed into an energetic hub serving the community with land and water-based activities.
Construction of the landmark building is scheduled to start next month, with completion and opening set for December 2022.
The Edge’s bold and contemporary design is inspired by the natural forms of the rocks and pebbles thrown onto the beach and harbour by the sea.
Funded by Sellafield Ltd and The Coastal Communities Fund, plans for the unique centre include recreational and storage facilities, an indoor arts and events space, a cafe, public toilets and overnight accommodation.
Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners chief executive, John Baker, said: “I think the work Thomas Armstrong has done on The Bus Station development is incredible so we’re very excited to be working with them to help us bring The Edge to life.
“We’re working closely with them to make sure visitors to the harbour will still have access to both the beach and the lighthouse while work is taking place.
“The passion of the people of Whitehaven to see the town and harbour regenerated is remarkable. It’s something that inspires us and is driving all of the improvements we’re making to the harbour.
“The Edge is part of that and we’re looking forward to it playing a big role in our community and in bringing people into Whitehaven to explore and interact with our stunning coastline.”
David Atkinson, managing director of Thomas Armstrong said: “We’re proud to be appointed main contractor for The Edge coastal activity centre by Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners. As a local company, it’s a huge honour to be part of this bold and exciting project and to continue to play our part in the regeneration of Whitehaven.”
Stuart McCourt, education, community and development Lead for Sellafield Ltd, said: “Following the completion of The Bus Station, The Edge is yet another fantastic opportunity to grow and diversify the local economy in West Cumbria through our SiX – social impact, multiplied programme.
“We’re lucky to be surrounded by a beautiful coastline, and this new centre will allow both residents and tourists to experience this both in and out of the water.”
Mike Starkie, mayor of Copeland, said: “This is another leap forward in the regeneration of Whitehaven which will have an enormous impact on the town and surrounding area.
“The harbour is the jewel in the crown of Whitehaven. We’ve already seen what a vital role it plays in our community’s health and wellbeing during lockdown, so I’m excited to see how we can exploit that further with the opening of The Edge.”