Over the Boardwalk!

Cllr Carni Carron-Holmes cutting the ribbon on the Maryport Boardwalk

Maryport’s new Boardwalk, which links two key destinations in the town, is now officially open to the public.

Dozens of people braved wind and rain to mark the occasion, with Councillor Carni McCarron-Holmes, Chair of Cumberland Council, cutting the ribbon on Monday 5 February. The new stretch of accessible pathway joins the town’s promenade and harbourside, crossing the sandy area known locally as La’al Harbour.

The Boardwalk is part of the transformation of Maryport’s public realm using money from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund. Cumberland Council came up with the plan to create the Boardwalk as part of £12 million of regeneration work taking place across the town. Its aim is to give easy access for all to the historic harbourside - soon to be home to a new outdoor event space - and to the promenade, which is getting a new café and beach shop.

There was a public vote to decide the colour of the Boardwalk - they chose a ‘sand’ colour for the decking which is made of a very strong glass reinforced plastic material with a honeycomb structure so water won't pool on it. This decking is already used around the world in environments where safety is a priority and very strong non-slip surfaces are required.

The structure has been built on driven screw piles, while the decking materials have been designed by structural engineers to be non-slip and ensure the Boardwalk can withstand high tides.

Cowran Estates Services Ltd, based in Ulverston, was the main contractor and used the skills of local subcontractors to complete the project. In fact, the only thing not made in Cumbria was the decking itself.

Councillor Mark Fryer, Leader of Cumberland Council, said:

“This is the first time there has been an accessible route on this section of seafront which does not involve going along a road. Wheelchairs, mobility scooters and prams and pushchairs will all be able to use the Boardwalk, and enjoy this popular little stretch of beach.

“It may only be a small development but it is part of some much bigger schemes which are going to have a massive impact in Maryport, like the developments on the harbourside and prom, and at Christ Church, the Carlton and the Wave centre, which is soon to be renamed Maryport Activity Centre.

“The Boardwalk will help bring them all together.”

Councillor Carni McCarron-Holmes, Chair of Cumberland Council, added:

“This project really is for everyone - young and old. It will open up this beach which we, as locals, love. As well as connecting the entire waterfront, the Boardwalk will be a place to play, or sit, or be social. I think it is fantastic.”