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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Copeland council offers support but no cash for harbour repairs

Copeland council leader Elaine Woodburn has offered her support to the owners of Whitehaven’s storm-damaged harbour – but said there will be no money for repairs.

Elaine Woodburn photo
Elaine Woodburn

Winds of up to 100mph and massive waves hit the harbour during Thursday’s storms, destroying part of the outer wall and devastating the sea cadets’ building.

Now the owners of the harbour, the Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, have admitted they have no money to repair the damage.

The not-for-profit organisation says it has no funds in the bank and hopes that once the full scale of the damage is known – something that could take months – they will be able to secure some financial support from elsewhere.

Miss Woodburn said the council would work with the commissioners and help out wherever it could.

But she said sadly that could not be financial aid, especially in the current climate when they have had to make significant budget cuts.

“There is no funding. We just don’t have the money. But we have a good working relationship with the harbour and will happily offer any help and support they need. We will sit down and talk to them and see what we can do,” she said.

“I would hope that some of the national organisations, like the heritage lottery, may have some funding.”

The harbour is classed as a historic monument so it is hoped that English Heritage could also step in.

Sea Cadets’ chairman David Abbott has already said it will take a lot of time, effort and money to repair their building.

But he said the main thing was that it was damage to buildings, not people.

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