Station Renovation Progresses

Friday, June 30th, 2017

The renovation of the former station at Folkestone Harbour has advanced considerably in the last few months.  The works in the former station are part of a wider project that includes the renovation of the viaduct, boardwalk construction, and beach nourishment. Graham Construction started work in February 2017 and the changes across the whole site are beginning to take shape.  Once complete the project will deliver a direct route between the town and the Harbour Arm, via the former railway station platforms, and will ultimately link with a boardwalk along the beachfront towards the Leas Coastal Park.

The repairs to the canopies on the platforms are a substantial component of the work. As a key feature of the former station, the completion of these repairs will transform this area. Other works have focussed on replacing the condemned concrete in the platform walls and ensuring that the brick face appearance remains consistent.

The route through the former station will offer pedestrians the choice to walk at platform level or on the landscaped track bed.  Steps from the platform to the track bed are being installed at natural intervals and benches at either side of the wooden steps (see below) will give people the opportunity to stop and enjoy the space. 

Before works started the natural flora of the site was collected and has been included in the plans for the landscaped areas of the track bed.  The space will extend the area currently accessible to the public and will connect to the Harbour Arm, the boardwalk, and the viaduct walkway, which is also undergoing renovation. This will improve connectivity around the harbour itself and help enhance access between the Coastal Park, the Stade and beach areas, the Creative Quarter and other parts of the town centre, anticipating the wider opportunities that the seafront development will bring.

Development of Folkestone Seafront has required investment in significant infrastructure, including the creation of sea defences. This has been greatly assisted by a grant of £5 million from the Regional Growth Fund, with support from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Kent County Council, and Shepway District Council. The case for this investment was built around the provision of new homes, the creation of jobs for the area and the multiplier effect this will have on the local economy.  Significant up-front funding is also being provided by Sir Roger De Haan. 

 

 

 


Get out on the water with Folkestone Sea Sports

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

There are so many fun and exciting ways to enjoy Folkestone Harbour and the surrounding areas.  One of the ways to best take advantage of being by the sea is through Folkestone Sea Sports Centre. Based at Sunny Sands, Folkestone Sea Sports has fun, affordable activities for the whole family.  Whether you are a nervous beginner or keen to improve the skills you already have, instructors will be on hand to work with you whatever your level.

If you are looking for a fun way to get out on the water then you might want to try Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) . SUP is taking the world by storm and once you have developed your balance on the board the options are endless. Whether it is taking a relaxing paddle along our beautiful coastline in quiet and tranquil surroundings for stress relief, racing your SUP, taking part in SUP Yoga and Fitness, or simply riding the waves back into shore, the sport has something for everyone.  The activities are a great way to exercise and get fit and on a calm and clear day, you’ll really appreciate making the most of being out on the water.  Once you have experienced this activity you will understand why this is one of the world’s fastest growing sports.

Or maybe you want a way to keep fit and stay dry?  Then kayaking could be the answer.  Paddle out to sea and relax out on the water, or race your friends. Kayaking is very easy to pick up and you can work as hard or a slow as you want to. Hearing the water trickle as you push the paddle through the sea is a really calm and relaxing sensation. Participants will have the option of casual hire right up to achieving paddle sport awards with an instructor.

Folkestone Sea Sports with the help of Shepway Sports Trust have a team of experienced individuals to develop a range of sea sports in the community of Shepway. With a beautiful setting of a sandy beach and superb views to France on a clear day, there really is no better location to take to the waves. Check out www.folkestoneseasports.com or call 0845 557 8506 to find out more and make a booking.


Shape of Scenic Beach Path Emerges

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

The landscape at Folkestone Seafront is changing rapidly and while many of the large dunes have gone a new feature is taking shape. 

The latest addition will be a boardwalk that creates new access to Folkestone Harbour Arm and connects it with the Lower Leas Coastal Park.  This new path will connect to the former station, where work to repair and renovate continues, as well as the viaduct, which is currently undergoing works to become a pedestrian walkway.  These routes will improve connectivity around the harbour itself and help enhance access between the Coastal Park, the Stade and beach areas, the Creative Quarter and other parts of the town centre, anticipating the wider opportunities that the seafront development will bring.

The current works to raise site levels will continue until the end of June and preparations for the boardwalk are starting at the eastern end of the site near the Coastal Park.

The work is an important step towards the transformation of one of Folkestone’s most iconic sites, which will help redefine the relationship between the town and the sea.  Development of Folkestone Seafront has required investment in significant infrastructure, including the creation of sea defences. This has been greatly assisted by a grant of £5 million from the Regional Growth Fund, with support from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Kent County Council, and Shepway District Council. The case for this investment was built around the provision of new homes, the creation of jobs for the area and the multiplier effect this will have on the local economy.  Significant up-front funding is also being provided by Sir Roger De Haan. 


Viaduct Renovation

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Folkestone harbour development, folkestone viaduct, walkway, lifestyle, sea views, landscape, high lineWhile the heavy machinery and activity connected to the dredging and level raising has caught our attention at Folkestone harbour, the works to repair and renovate the viaduct have been progressing.  This area of work focusses on preserving the structure and connecting the former railway station and viaduct to the town.

Folkestone Viaduct, Folkestone harbour news, Folkestone regeneration, new development FolkestoneIt will create new access to Folkestone Harbour Arm by using the viaduct that carried trains across the harbour as a pedestrian walkway.  The aim is to provide a direct route between the town and the Harbour Arm, via the former railway station platforms, and will ultimately link with a boardwalk along the beachfront towards the Leas Coastal Park. This will improve connectivity around the harbour itself and help enhance access between the Coastal Park, the Stade and beach areas, the Creative Quarter and other parts of the town centre, anticipating the wider opportunities that the seafront development will bring.

During the coming months the area will be landscaped and new railings will be added. A staircase and lift will be constructed to provide access between the viaduct and Harbour Square, adjacent to the fountains. Care is being taken to respect the listed status of the structure and to preserve and enhance its heritage value, whilst introducing a function that is relevant to the area’s future.

The work is an important step towards the transformation of one of Folkestone’s most iconic sites, which will help redefine the relationship between the town and the sea. To date this has included the opening of Rocksalt, a signature restaurant overlooking the inner harbour, the creation of interactive fountains in a new public square and the Harbour Arm itself.  

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Folkestone Harbour Arm New Season

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Final preparations are in hand for the 2017 season on Folkestone Harbour Arm, with some outlets already trading and reporting brisk business.

The Harbour Arm has remained open for walking and fishing throughout the winter, closed occasionally when poor weather and rough seas make it dangerous. Food and drink providers are now returning, with some businesses having opened at times during the colder months, notably “Dockers”, who have baked their speciality bread at least once a week and established a core and loyal following. Like other outlets on the Harbour Arm they have local roots and have been encouraged to expand gradually as more people discover the Harbour Arm as a great new venue where they can eat, drink and buy local speciality items.

Over the next few weeks more of the favourite outlets will return, and by the end of March most will be open regularly at weekends, with extended opening hours during school holidays and in the peak summer months. Opening patterns will also reflect demand, so that larger numbers of visitors will result in longer opening times for cafes and bars.

Harbour Arm Curator Diane Dever says: “From the outset we have made it a priority to create opportunities for local entrepreneurs to establish businesses on the Harbour Arm, so visitors will encounter no national chains or high street logos. Our outlets are often also creators and makers, and we are proud that many of them have grown with us: Follies, for example is opening another new venue, this time in Hythe, to add to their small family of restaurants in Dover and Folkestone. Generally, the food and drink offer in Folkestone has become more and more successful.”

The Harbour Arm is free to access, and plenty of car parking is available on site. Entertainment is organised at weekends, with the emphasis on providing a platform for local musicians. In 2016 the line-up included internationals such as Namvula, Grupo Lokito, and Bafula, as well as artists from closer to home, including Coco Lovers, Arcelia and Diane Dunn.

New developments for 2017 will see favourites “That Burger” and “The Big Greek Bus” introducing their own take on breakfast and “Just Ribz’s” becoming a full-time trader. “Cockles” will also expand its traditional offer, adding a new larger space and adding to its menu with a daily special soup and fish and seafood offered sushi-bar style. Fresh fish will be simply treated; raw or smoked, soused or steamed, bringing Scandinavian, South American and Japanese influence into play, along with traditional methods of serving seafood.

 The Harbour Arm team aims to bring more surprises and further choice during 2017. Up to the minute news on the music programme and activities will be provided on social media.  Regular programme updates will be issued through the website and announcements in the press.

Images from Freddie Lee Thompson.

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Seafront Site Activity -Dredging and Raising Levels

Friday, March 10th, 2017

The Folkestone harbour development site has seen quite a buzz of activity with dredging and level raising well underway.  These images show the process of beach nourishment, which is a technique that is widely used to manage shoreline erosion.  The current activity, which started at the end of February, includes raising the levels of the site to an acceptable level in preparation for the development.  

Plans for the developement include up to 1,000 homes, with a mix of beach houses, apartments and townhouses. The scheme secured outline planning consent in 2015 and has been prepared for development through significant investment from the landowner, Sir Roger De Haan. The 35-acre development will also incorporate recreational areas and public spaces as well as commercial space of up to 10,000 square metres and in due course is expected to generate 500 direct full-time jobs.  

Project Director David Crump said: “Detailed planning for the main construction phase is continuing and we expect to submit planning applications later this year, with the first homes going on sale shortly afterwards.”

A lot of material is required for the process of beach nourishment, which can mean bringing in external materials to the site by road or by sea.  However, at Folkestone Seafront we are able to extract the necessary materials from other areas of the site and replace materials with sand from the harbour.

 

Images Folkestone Seafront Development
Licence for use of the commissioning companies only.

The sand that is used to replace the materials is removed from the harbour through dredging.  As well as ensuring an environmentally sustainable  and self-contained site with enough internal materials to carry out beach nourishment, the dredging of the harbour offers other benefits as the fishing fleet will have longer each side of the tides to enter and leave the harbour.

Follow us on Twitter for more updates.

 


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