When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
New land boost for Portland academy
WEYMOUTH and Portland is set for a boost as the national sailing academy gears up for its busiest year yet.
The news comes as the academy at Osprey Quay gets the green light to acquire a derelict piece of land opposite so it can expand its car and boat park.
The 2.5 acres of land in question used to be part of the Mere Tank Farm, now designated for employment use, and is currently used as a makeshift car park. It is owned by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), formerly the Regional Development Agency (RDA).
The land will be developed by the academy as it expands its business activities.
Academy executive John Tweed told Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s management committee, which had to consent to approving the long leasehold disposal of the land, said it was ‘difficult to overstate the importance of the acquisition’.
He said: “In 2008 the dinghy park was doubled in size without increasing the size of the car park.
“Having been fortunate to have a short-term lease of this land we have accommodated major events.
“An economic impact assessment stated that in 2011 these events contributed £12.5million to the local economy.”
Mr Tweed said 2013 would be the academy’s ‘busiest year bar none’ with more than 30 competitive events including eight national championships, two world championships as well as other training events and community activities.
'Bought for a substantial amount'
AFTER the meeting, John Tweed said: “Maintaining the status quo and not selling this land would mean it would be used for economic development and some form of building would go on it.
“From our point of view the sale ensures we get the right level of space to run major events which will bring in a lot of money to the area.
“The land does look scruffy at the moment and our intention is to tidy it up and fence it off.
“Eventually we will bring it up to a proper standard.”
Mr Tweed said the land was being bought for a ‘substantial’ amount.