First Minister Carwyn Jones will be visiting Holyhead Marina today [Thursday, 10 May] to announce funding support and thank all those involved in the clean-up operation since Storm Emma.
The Welsh Government is to provide £100,000 to the Isle of Anglesey Council towards the cost of the clean up, and to ensure businesses are able to remain open and attract tourism to the area.
Storm Emma, which hit the north coast of Wales in March, caused severe damage to the marina, as well as resulting in the wreckage of about 75 vessels.
Significant progress has been made to clean up the area since the incident, with an estimated 40 tonnes of polystyrene and 3000 litres of oil recovered from the marina and neighbouring beaches.
This progress has been made possible thanks to the efforts of a multi-agency team involving the Isle of Anglesey Council, NRW, and the Coastguard among others, and the time and dedication shown by local volunteers.
Ahead of his visit the First Minister said: “This will be my second visit to the marina since the devastation of Storm Emma. From day one agencies and volunteers have worked tirelessly on the clean-up and I saw for myself the dedication and professionalism of those involved. I thank them for all they have done and continue to do.
“We have remained in close contact with the local authority, who have kept us informed of the recovery operation every step of the way.
“I said when I visited in March that we would look at what assistance we could provide to support the tremendous efforts being made to clean up the marina, and to help businesses affected.
“I am hopeful the support I am announcing today can be used by the Council to support those local businesses affected, as well as to further promote tourism here and show potential visitors that Holyhead continues to be ‘open for business’ .
“I know that this morning Holyhead is welcoming the first cruise ship of the season which is also the inaugural visit of the Viking Sun ship to Holyhead – and to Wales. This is great news for the town and surrounding region, and shows the great potential for the future of the area. The Cruise industry in Wales has seen excellent growth and is up year on year and we look forward to welcoming more than 80 ships to Wales during 2018”
Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, who provided a financial contribution also, said, “The damage to Holyhead Marina has been disastrous for all the businesses and individuals affected, as well as the significant environmental impact with debris and polystyrene entering the water.
“Thanks to the hard work of all agencies involved, significant progress has been made with the clean-up operation with a great deal of polystyrene and oil recovered. I hope this funding provides some reassurance to the community that every effort continues to be made to restore the marina and its local environment.”
Anglesey Council Leader, Councillor Llinos Medi, said, “Anglesey is deeply reliant on the tourism industry, and we’re pleased that the Welsh Government is providing financial assistance which will help minimise the negative impacts on Holyhead, following the destruction caused by Storm Emma.
“There has been tremendous damage caused to the marina and local businesses are suffering, but the impact on our environment and beaches through polystyrene pollution has also been considerable. Thankfully, everyone, from businesses to volunteers, has pulled together to tackle this terrible incident and we are now working towards recovery.”
She added, “Support for businesses impacted and the environment, and funding to help us continue to promote Anglesey as a fantastic tourist destination is vital. I’d like to thank the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, and Welsh Government colleagues for their support.”