At MDL we have been hard at work investing in all of our marinas over the winter to achieve our ambitious target of continually improving the MDL estate with new facilities, new developments and extensive renovation work across many of our sites.
We’re continually reviewing and planning for the maintenance and renewal of our key marina infrastructure across the group, continuing our commitment to offering class-leading marinas and the finest customer experience.
Demonstrating our commitment, we are pleased to announce our plans to invest a minimum of £20 million across our 19 UK marinas over the next five years, marking the halfway point in our long term £34 million investment programme.
Here are just a few examples of where that money is going…
£650,000 renovation works at Woolverstone
This major redevelopment project, which has taken three months to complete, has enhanced the layout of the marina with all piles and pontoons on piers A to D replaced, giving a completely new look to the marina. Find out more here.
£150,000 investment in new facilities at Shamrock Quay
This full refurbishment of berth holder facilities at Shamrock Quay, which includes the redesign and upgrade of the existing showers including completely new hot water generation and supplies, upgraded heating, ventilation, toilets and lighting throughout, is set to be completed in time for the new boating season. Find out more here.
£500,000 winter dredge programme
Routine dredging operations are essential to maintaining full tidal access in the marinas and this is always a top priority. Dredging work is constrained to the winter months to preserve the sensitive marine environment and so as not to interfere with the boating season. This also means that our dredging teams and contractors are regularly faced with challenges from the weather, none more so than this year!
Despite the relentless strong winds and heavy rainfall, MDL is making good progress with its £500,000 winter 2013/14 dredge programme, with dredging works already completed at Cobb’s Quay, Hythe, Hamble Point and Mercury. Dredging at Northney, Sparkes and Saxon Wharf is planned for the remainder of March, and will be complete in time for the boating season and better weather. Next year’s dredging programme is already being planned with projects expected to total around £600,000 spread across many more of MDL’s marinas.
Further planned investment projects for 2014 - Further projects planned for the coming year include pontoon re-decking and replacements across many of the marinas, replacement of some of the pontoon mooring piles at Shamrock Quay, Port Hamble and Northney, ongoing maintenance of wavescreens, yard and roadway re-surfacing. There will also be investment in new berth holder facilities at Hythe Marina Village, which like Shamrock Quay will see a full refurbishment of the berth holder toilet and shower facilities.
With our first taste of spring warmth last weekend and the season bringing with it increasing daylight and the rebirth of flora and fauna, why not take the opportunity to discover some of the UK’s stunning coastline? Freedom Berthing allows you to explore the seashore from the West Country round to East Anglia, including cruising the Hamble and the world-famous Poole Harbour. Freedom Berthing members can stay at any of the marinas in our UK network for FREE* – perfect for stays away.
If you fancy something more adventurous why not sample the delights of cruising in France, Spain or Italy? As Europe’s largest marina operator, we are proud to offer the most comprehensive berthing package available, which will give you the chance to take advantage of unique and unrivalled access to some of Europe’s very best cruising destinations.
And as summer approaches you can start planning your European getaway, with access to our MDL marinas in Spain and Italy, as well as over 50 marinas on the northwest coast of France, from Granville on the Normandy coast right round to Port Médoc in the Gironde. Ideal for those who are keen to extend their cruising and discover new destinations without the additional cost of visitor berthing fees.
As part of your Freedom Berthing package you also receive a whole host of other benefits and savings throughout the year including fuel at cost, up to 30% off MDL boatyard services and various events and social activities - click here to see our events calendar. Your Freedom Berthing pack, which contains all the information you need to take advantage of the benefits, will be available for collection from the Marina Office. The pack will also include your Freedom Berthing card and a Tide Table booklet – we hope you find it useful.
You can also log on to MyMDL – the customer online portal - for the latest discounts and offers and to see at a glance all the benefits of Freedom Berthing. Don’t forget you can also use MyMDL to book and manage your marina visits and arrange berth swaps at other marinas, giving you – and your boat - even greater freedom than ever before.
* Subject to availability
Berth holders at MDL's marinas will be benefitting from several new faces for this coming season, as new businesses open on site at many of our marinas.
Shamrock Quay will be providing a brand new dining experience with the opening of the new Quay Fifteen restaurant. Tucked away in a spot overlooking the River Itchen, just a stone’s throw from the centre of Southampton, Quay Fifteen’s aim is to deliver fine dining without the fuss, to exceed expectation and give its guests an all round dining experience.
Quay Fifteen will join other recently-opened tenants at Shamrock Quay, Oil Spill Response, RIB Shack Marine and Inderkitchen. Existing tenant, Sakks Menswear, has also extended its premises on the site, whilst beauty parlour Beauty Bay also opened its doors late last year.
Berth holders and visitors to Cobb’s Quay in Poole can also try a new eating experience, with The Boathouse bar and restaurant now under new management and renamed Cobb’s Yacht Club Bar & Restaurant.
The restaurant’s new owner Julia Sweatman (pictured above with the team) said: “With superb marina views of Cobb’s Quay and Holes Bay, we offer a stylish and friendly environment for enjoying breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days a week. Our team has created an exciting range of dishes based upon what is fresh local & seasonal, with a special emphasis on fish & seafood. We are proud to offer an extensive range of beers, ales and ciders, an attractive modern wine list and freshly ground Illy coffee. We look forward to welcoming all to the Club.”
Meanwhile at Saxon Wharf, yacht upholstery firm Passmore of Southampton is now operating from its new unit at the marina. Amongst other customers, the established Colchester-based firm supplies Oyster Yachts, already a neighbouring tenant at Saxon Wharf.
Dream Yacht Charters, the largest privately owned charter company worldwide, is also now based within an MDL marina, following the opening of a base at Port Hamble Marina late last year. Managed under a joint venture with Britannia Corporate Events and Fairview Sailing, the firm will be welcoming sailors to explore the cruising available in the area, from Cowes to Lymington, Yarmouth to Gunwharf Quays, Hamble to Beaulieu and numerous other destinations in the Solent.
You can search our entire online Services Directory here.
MDL is very proud to have worked with Ocean Youth Trust South for over 20 years, helping to provide adventure under sail to young people who have shown exceptional accomplishments and qualities which have inspired or supported others.
The winners of our annual Sail Training Awards are now being chosen, with a final team of six due to set sail for an unforgettable sailing experience on board the Ocean Youth Trust South's training yacht John Laing next month. The youngsters selected will spend five nights living and sailing on board, and will become involved in all aspects of life at sea, including hoisting sails, helping with maintenance, sailing the boat at night and cooking and cleaning with the rest of the crew.
The Sail Training Awards have so far allowed over 140 young people the opportunity to experience a trip on board the John Laing, something which has been life-changing for some of our past winners.
And it doesn’t stop there. Through fundraising activities carried out as part of our 40th anniversary year in 2013, we were able to present the charity with a cheque for £60,000 at the end of last year (pictured above).
Ocean Youth Trust South is now looking to launch a major new campaign to enable them to purchase a new training yacht for use by the young people helped by the charity. The campaign is being dubbed “A new boat for a new generation” and the charity is keen to spread the word and get more people involved in this long term project to replace the John Laing.
Donations and gifts will help to ensure that young people continue to enjoy the benefits of Adventure Under Sail. If you would like to contribute, you can do so in a number of ways:
To find out more about the important work carried out by Ocean Youth Trust South, and to find out how you can help in their fundraising efforts, click here.
Illustrating our continued commitment to offering class-leading marinas and the finest customer experience, we are continuing to invest in our marina portfolio.
Work already undertaken in 2013 included a full refurbishment of the facilities at Ocean Village Marina (pictured above right) as well as at Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth, where customers are now benefitting from new modern showers, toilets and washing facilities. Customers at both Brixham and Torquay marinas are able to use the new boat lift, making boat maintenance more convenient than ever, and the 60 new berths opened at Chatham Maritime Marina in the summer have already reached capacity.
Over the winter months works will continue and will include a complete re-deck of the catamaran berths at Sparkes Marina, alongside improvements to car park lighting and the installation of a new refuse area which will improve the appearance of the marina entrance. Northney Marina will be carrying out comprehensive maintenance works too, helping to improve the appearance of the marina.
At Shamrock Quay, 2014 will see the opening of a new on-site restaurant, Quay Fifteen (above), whilst Cobb’s Quay will also be offering new dining options as The Boathouse bar and restaurant comes under new management. Maintenance works are also continuing at Hythe Village Marina, whilst further improvements to the pontoons, marina electrics and facilities are planned for both Mercury Yacht Harbour and Port Hamble Marina. Investment at Hamble Point Marina continues as well, upgrading the main facilities block and marina reception / administration facilities, improving CCTV coverage and increasing the number of pontoon trolleys available.
Eamonn Feeney, Managing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We are committed to investing in our marinas and continuing to improve the facilities we offer. As Europe’s leading marina operator we refuse to stand still and are continually looking at ways to not only improve and update our marinas, but also to ensure our customer service and locations are of the very highest standards. This is why many of our customers have been with us for years, and for us the focus always remains on ensuring our berth holders and visitors continue to get the very best out of their boating.”