Porthcawl Maritime Centre


Porthcawl Maritime Centre is an all-weather, year-round haven for residents and visitors bringing educational, cultural, water sports, business, employment and health and wellbeing benefits to the South Wales Coast.

The idea for a year-round attraction grew out of a need to build a new base for the Porthcawl Sea Cadets, which still occupy a building constructed in 1946 as well as a headquarters and centre of excellence for the Welsh Surfing Federation.

Download Supporting Documentation

A Community Interest Company (CIC) was set up by a board which involves Doctors, business people, professionals graduates and educators. With plans to development of 0.9 acre site and a 2700m2 main building the team also  visualised the following;

  • Health and Wellbeing Facility.
  • Group Activity Accommodation.
  • SeaQuest Coastal Science and Discovery centre.
  • Meeting Space.
  • Restaurant.
  • Café/ Bistro.
  • Performing Arts and Digital Performance Space.
  • Sea Cadets Centre of Excellence

The CIC received £297,597 from the Big Lottery’s Coastal Communities Fund in 2015. The remaining funds are set to be a mix of grants, social borrowing and potentially donations from residents through a Community Bond scheme.  If all their ideas come into effect they will generate up to 100 new jobs.

The proposed Porthcawl Maritime Quarter – ‘Harbourside’ will become an environmental, architectural and educational space for everyone.

Lessons learned

  • Dedicated member of the team needed to develop project.
  • Community engagement essential.
  • Planning permission can take at least 8 weeks and be protracted.
  • Take all of the help offered – DTA Organisational Health Check a very useful tool.
  • Fully understand costs and timescales for planning, legal, licensing and procurement.
  • Create a ‘project team committee’ with your local authority/ stakeholders – meeting regularly.
  • Factor in for the unforeseen – time contingency and cost contingency.