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Cowes Harbour Commission

Marina / Boat Yard , Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, UK


Cowes is a Trust Port constituted by Act of Parliament in 1897 and has a Board of Commissioners with day-to-day operation delegated to the Harbour Master/Chief Executive to manage the harbour.

Cowes Harbour Commission is the statutory harbour authority for Cowes Harbour. The Commission also provides services and moorings for harbour users on a competitive and commercial basis.

In 2001, CHC carried out significant changes as recommended by the Government in its Trust Ports Review. The aim of the new standard is to ensure that Trust Ports perform a valuable role in support of the local, regional and national economy and provide a benchmark for good governance, accountability, and openness.

The Commission is a self-financing, not for profit organisation that aims to make an operating surplus to reinvest into the continuing development of the harbour and associated services. There are no shareholders or owners and all operating surplus is re-invested back into the harbour for the benefit of the harbour users and stakeholders.

The Commission operates a robust financial management system to provide transparency and accountability in respect of the Commission’s dual functions as the statutory harbour authority and also a service provider. All income and expenditure is budgeted and accounted in five separate ring fenced cost centres which facilitates accurate reporting.

CHC Statutory Harbour Authority

Cowes Harbour Commission’s duties as a statutory harbour authority include the following:

- Managing an ‘Open Harbour’ Policy.
- Safety management of harbour activities – in compliance with the ‘Port Marine Safety Code’.
- Control and policing of navigation.
- Maintaining navigational aids and hydrographic surveys.
- Environmental and conservation responsibilities.
- Provision of pilotage services.
- Oil pollution control, waste management, and harbour security.
- Works and dredge licence consents.

Harbour Sustainable Development

Cowes Harbour Commission’s policy is to have a pro-active role in developing and working with partners to deliver a sustainable harbour development programme. The Commission’s policies aim to safeguard existing and promote new business, investment, and employment opportunities.

The Commission’s aims are set out in its most recent (2007) Strategy Document, the details of which can be found in the CHC Strategy Document.

The most significant development currently being planned is the Outer Harbour Development which is referred to in the Harbour Master’s Review and described in the Outer Harbour Development section. These can all be found by using the menu bar to the left.

CHC Commercial Activities

The Commission also provides harbour-related services on a commercial and competitive basis. The key strategic objective is to keep under review the provision, delivery, quality, and cost of services to make Cowes and Cowes Harbour Commission the harbour and service provider of customer choice in the Solent.

Cowes Harbour Commission’s commercial activities include the following:

CHC Moorings
Annual licenced moorings – pontoon, pile, and swinging.
Visitor moorings – harbour, river, and Cowes Week.
Trinity Landing, Venture Quays, and Town Quay.

Shepards Wharf Marina
Visitor and residential marina and dayboat sailing centre.

Kingston Marine Services (Boatyard)
Boatyard department with hoist and full boatyard facilities.

Kingston Marine Services (Commercial)
Harbour maintenance and commercial marine contract service provider. Commercial units for lease.

Cowes Harbour Fuels
Fuel pontoon situated in the River Medina, 200m south of Chain Ferry.

Harbour Taxi Service
All year operation.

The Commissioners are keen to listen to views and opinions from anyone with an interest in the harbour, or the services that we provide, so that Cowes Harbour Commission can continue to develop its facilities and deliver an excellent experience for all who visit Cowes by boat.

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Contact Information

Cowes Harbour Commission

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Contact via email
01983 293952
01983 299357 (fax)

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