13 Mar

West Cumbria-based hospitality group Osprey has been announced as the main operator of The Edge, a community facility and coastal activities centre being built on Whitehaven harbour.

The Edge will consist of community spaces, meeting rooms, changing facilities, public toilets, a café and 16 en-suite rooms with harbour views.

The project is being overseen by Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners (WHC), and Osprey will manage the hospitality, accommodation and associated operations.

Craig Lowery, managing director of Osprey Management Group, said: “The Edge is an exciting and unique project in a wonderful location, literally on the edge of the harbour.

“We are looking forward continuing our commitment to provide job opportunities to local people and engaging local suppliers to provide outstanding produce.

“Osprey and Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners have exciting plans for the project and we’re delighted to develop these together.”

Osprey are known for their portfolio of quality establishments, including The Peddler at the award-winning Bus Station in Whitehaven, The Galloping Horse in High Harrington and the newly acquired Hunday Manor Country House Hotel, near Workington.

In addition, WHC – a not-for-profit organisation that manages and maintains the harbour for the benefit of all – will work with independent specialists and organisations to offer a range of watersports and cultural and community activities, helping to attract visitors, boost the economy and provide a valuable resource for residents.

Deanne Shallcross, chief executive of WHC, said: “Osprey are a local company with a reputation for delivering good-quality hospitality alongside training and development.

“With Osprey as the main operator, and working with various activity specialists, our aim is to build a financially sustainable centre with long-term social, economic and health benefits for the local area and beyond.”

The Edge being built on Whitehaven Harbour

The three-storey Edge, designed by Manchester-based architectural practice Northmill Associates to look like a piece of sandstone that washed up on the harbour in high seas, is being built by Flimby-based Thomas Armstrong Construction Ltd.

The project has experienced several significant delays following the Covid pandemic, including knock-on effects to the global supply chain of both materials and specialist resources. Construction work is expected to complete in the summer, with the building open to the public in the autumn.

Ryan Robertson, contracts manager for Thomas Armstrong, said: “This project has had more than its share of challenges initially, but we’re pleased to be making good progress now and it’s a real privilege for us as a local company to work on a project we hope will make a difference to the town and people’s lives.”

The Edge is supported through Sellafield Ltd’s Social Impact Multiplied – SiX – programme and the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund. It will sit alongside other projects in Whitehaven, such as the redevelopment of Old New Quay, the launch of the Barclays Eagle Lab business incubator at the Bus Station and the development of the former Whittles building into a Digital and Gaming Hub.

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