A new deal between Camper & Nicholsons Marina Investments (CNMI), Westcourt Real Estate (Europe) Ltd and the Home & Communities Agency (HCA) allows for the Victoria Quay project at East Cowes on the UK’s Isle of Wight to take a big step forward. The project includes a 400-berth marina plus a related landside development that will be located behind the new breakwater being constructed.

A notice issued on the London Stock Exchange states: “The agreement is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions including funding, planning and building. In particular, the exchange of final contracts relating to the development remains subject to the incorporation and financing of an investing company within the next 45 days. It is anticipated that the investing company will then engage a development company, in which CNMI will have a carried interest, and enter into a marina lease with us.”

This move follows the choice late last year of Camper & Nicholson Marinas (CNM), a trading subsidiary of CNMI, as the preferred bidder to lead the Victoria Quay development. The whole project significantly expands the yachting and residential facilities at Cowes and particularly the East Cowes side of the port.

“The new marina will likely be designed for yachts of 8m-40m (26ft-131ft), with larger yachts being able to be berthed on the hammerheads. The timing of the project depends on completion of the new breakwater and also the extensive dredging that is required, which apparently can only be done in certain months of the year. The exact range of yacht sizes to be accommodated in the marina still has to be finalised,” Sean Purdy, marketing director for CNM, told Superyacht Business’ sister tittle IBI.

He added: “The marina will be built in one step and is likely to be ready for the season in 2017. With our deal with Westcourt, it is likely that we will share in the new investment company but the details for all that still have to be worked out.“

Purdy was unable to give a value for the whole project.

The landside development will include a boutique hotel and a wide range of residential, commercial and leisure amenities for the 2.6ha site. It also comprises improvements to the Columbine building to create a mix of marine, commercial and leisure space; conversion of the nearby Victoria Barracks building as an inn and hotel; and 180 new and affordable houses.

The final phase of building the new breakwater is due to start in June and be completed by October, with the work being carried out by the Boskalis Westminster Group.

In a press statement, Captain Stuart McIntosh, Cowes Harbour Master, said: “2015 is going to be an exciting year on the development front for Cowes Harbour. Completion on the new Cowes breakwater will realise the Commission’s long-term goal of transforming Cowes into a true sheltered harbour, protecting jobs and businesses and creating a catalyst for further investment, as is already being seen with the proposed new marina and Solent Gateways development projects in East Cowes.”