A MULTI-MILLION-POUND investment is set to transform a marina and ‘secure the future’ of ocean racing.
Plans have been revealed for a £5m investment into Haslar Marina, extending the marina and creating a powerboat centre and a new home for Alex Thomson Racing.
The scheme, currently going through the planning system, will also create 28 new car parking spaces and a new public waterfront footpath.
It is hoped that these plans will create an additional 50 jobs across the marina.
Haslar Marina was built by marina operators Dean and Reddyhoff in 1993.
Managing director Michael Prideaux has described the plans as ‘hugely exciting’.
He said: ‘This is a major investment in the future of Haslar Marina and the local marine industry as a whole.
‘The redevelopment has come about in response to customer demand and changes in boating habits with increasingly larger sailing boats and greater numbers of powerboats.
‘In order for us to remain fit for the future, it is critical that this hugely exciting development gets given the go ahead.
‘If it is, it will secure the future for Haslar Marina for the next 25 years and beyond.’
Round-the-world sailor Alex Thomson says the plans would lead to a ‘world class’ racing facility in the town.
He said: ‘This is a hugely exciting time for everyone at Alex Thomson Racing.
‘Haslar Marina has been our home for more than 15 years and, during that time, we have built a team which is united in its ambitious approach and pursuit of excellence. This project is no different.
‘If realised, the project will involve the development of a true centre of excellence for ocean racing, providing a world-class facility for our team, partners, the local community and the hundreds of visitors that we welcome through our doors every year.
‘This project will also, importantly, allow us to continue to attract and bring together the very best talent, all under one roof here in Gosport.’
Leader of Gosport Borough Council, Cllr Mark Hook, has also given his backing to the plans.
He said: ‘I think these plans are really exciting and show the confidence Alex Thomson Racing has to building a world-class base here in Gosport.
‘It is great to have them right across the harbour from Land Rover BAR – the two complement one another very well.
‘Our harbour will be looked at as the pinnacle of the sailing world.’
If the plans are approved by the council, construction work could start towards the end of this year.