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Sailing academy plans move closer

6 March 08 08:07 GMT

Latest details are being unveiled for a planned sailing academy and events centre at Pwllheli in Gwynedd.

Gwynedd Council said it would provide improved facilities at the Hafan marina, which has been put forward as a 2012 Olympic training camp.

In February, a private business consortium unveiled its plans to develop the marina.

Nearly three years ago Gwynedd councillors refused a £3.8m plan to create 300 new berths at the marina.

Since the idea was first revealed in November 2006 Gwynedd Council has been in discussion with various interested parties to develop a "concept" for the development.

The list of development objectives now include making sure the facility will be able to accommodate a range of activities, including regatta and championship events, elite dinghy squad training, non-sailing water sports and training and conference facilities.

"Pwllheli is already recognised as one of the best sailing centres in the world," said Dafydd Iwan, the Gwynedd councillor who holds the economic development portfolio.

"What we need to do is build on the natural resources at Pwllheli and make sure that the facilities on land are as good," he added.

Training would be high on the agenda, he said, to show young local people there were good job opportunities in the area.

Mr Iwan said the current plan was different from the scheme thrown out by councillors nearly three years ago because the Hafan itself would not be extended as much.

Money to support the venture would come from the public purse, he added, with money from the Welsh Assembly Government and Europe.

Consortium

"I'm confident that we will be able to attract money to take this forward and it will be under local management," he added.

Stephen Tudor, from Pwllheli Sailing Club, said facilities on the shore needed to be upgraded for world championship events.

"This is on land adjacent to the existing sailing club," he said.

"We can't stand still and must move forward to progress the sport of sailing in Gwynedd," he added.

In February a consortium of local businessmen in Pwllheli unveiled their vision for the future of the marina.

Their plan - which the company said would not need public money - would feature a hotel, a heritage centre, a business centre, berths as per demand, marine based workshops, boatyard, parking, landing pad for the air ambulance, a wharf for fishermen and a public park.

The plans will be on display at Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli, from Thursday to Saturday, 6-8 March.

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