A £4 million funding bid is being put in to turn the Underfall Yard into a “maritime centre of excellence”. A feasibility study is being prepared. The Trust will have to preserve, for the benefit of the public, Underfall Yard’s historic assets and unique character. It was discussed at Cabinet on 27 October The proposals whilst dependent on securing HLF funding, secure the refurbishment of property, which comprises a Scheduled Ancient Monument, with uses based around industrial activity associated with harbour and maritime operations. An outline Master plan and a Stage Report have been developed for the Underfall Yard area by the Trust to enable grant aid applications to be worked up and submitted. This also enables the Vision to be taken forward through five strategic priorities:
- a) Preserving Historic Assets – Preserving the historic buildings and machinery.
- b) Retaining the Unique Character of the Underfall Yard – Provide opportunities for maritime businesses including the existing tenants and new start-up businesses.
- c) Improving Public Access and Engagement – Improve public access to the buildings and machinery, including a possible visitor centre.
- d) Nurturing Maritime Skills and Industries – the Master plan provides for a significant expansion of current activities and new opportunities for start-up businesses in addition to the established businesses already at the yard. This extends to include opportunities for training, apprenticeships and employment as well as enhancing and expanding courses and training in water sports and water based leisure activities.
- e) Enhancing and maintaining Sustainability – On completion of the refurbishment works the Yard operation will have to be financially self-supporting, and produce a surplus both for new projects and to maintain the buildings.