Folkestone Harbour was built in stages between the 1840s and early 1900s around the old fishing port of Folkestone. Over the years passenger and freight ferries, and cargo ships operated from the port to various destinations, the best-remembered link being that between Folkestone and Boulogne. By the late 1990s ferry operators Sea Containers Ltd, who then also owned Folkestone Harbour, decided that ferry operations had become unsustainable and the last ferry link was closed down in 2000.
In 2004, Sea Containers sold Folkestone Harbour to Roger De Haan CBE, former Chairman of the largest local employer, Saga. The Folkestone Harbour Company (FHC) then completed the acquisition of further land on the seafront in 2007. Since that time extensive consultation has taken place with planning authorities and government agencies, examining a wide variety of options for the development of the 35 acre site.
In 2010, the FHC commissioned architects Sir Terry Farrell and Partners to research and develop a Masterplan to show how Folkestone Harbour and Seafront could be re-developed in a way that would re-establish Folkestone’s traditional links with the sea.