Key figures in Hayle gathered to celebrate an “historic day” for the town as construction starts on land that has been derelict for 40 years.
The first part of the regeneration project at South Quay, which will see a supermarket and vital repairs to the harbour wall, got underway today.
ING, who own the harbour, organised a site tour for town councillors and the local MP who have been part of the consultation to get work started at the quay.
John Pollard, leader of Cornwall Council and councillor for Hayle North, welcomed the news after seeing three previous owners of the harbour fail to get regeneration work started.
He said: “It’s an historic day for Hayle. For us who have been dealing with this for 40 years this is the moment we never thought would happen, but it has and it is.
“This is an example of what can happen when we work together.”
The £30 million development will also see flood defences along the harbour wall raised, sluice gates replaced and a new promenade constructed.
Talks are taking place to confirm plans for the construction of a pedestrian bridge from the quay across to Penpol Terrace.
Work will soon get underway to repair the quay wall, which has been a “scar” on the landscape of the quay for decades.
George Eustice, MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle was one of the guests taken on a tour of the quay.
Mr Eustice said: “I think this project is proof that good things come to those who wait; we have certainly waited. It’s a big decision to do such a development. It can be difficult to get a community behind you. It has taken a huge amount of perseverance, but we have focused on the details not the problems.”
Developers Bowmer & Kirkland have around 30 people working on site, where the construction of the Asda supermarket is expected to be completed towards the end of next year.
The regeneration also includes plans for a restaurant, 30 homes and a retail unit.
Phillip Ellis, divisional director at Bowmer & Kirkland, said the architects have done a great job ensuring that the development will be visually in keeping with the historic harbour.
He added: “At the moment work is going very well. What really pleased me is how we have been welcomed in the community. It’s probably the most interest we have had from the community asking what we have been doing.”