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East Cowes Project

East Cowes Project

Key Facts

  • Major Regeneration Project for East Cowes
  • Key Riverside Location on the River Medina
  • 16 ha (40 acres) Site
  • Mixed-Use Development
  • Town Centre Regeneration
  • Marine Business Centre With Waterfront Frontage
  • Approx. +500 New Homes With 30% Affordable Housing
  • Community Facilities inc. Doctors Surgery / Health Centre
  • Quality Public Spaces
  • Events Space and Berths
  • New Shops and Restaurants
  • Possible Hotel
  • Village Green
  • Maritime Heritage Centre
  • Status – Development Started


Clare Chester, SEEDA
+44 01483 484206 or visit our website

The East Cowes Project, the flagship project of the Cowes Waterfront Initiative, is a visionary plan to regenerate the town centre of East Cowes on the Isle of Wight by improving employment prospects and creating a superb new waterfront for residents and visitors alike. The project presents a unique opportunity to improve East Cowes, secure new investment and provide an enhanced gateway to the Island.

SEEDA's Investment

The Cowes Waterfront Initiative is a collaboration of English Partnerships, the Isle of Wight Council, the Isle of Wight Economic Partnership and SEEDA. The East Cowes Project is a major regeneration scheme being brought forward as part of this initiative.

East Cowes Regeneration
A resolution to grant outline planning consent which included the principles of the masterplan was approved in July 2006. Due to the size of the development, a phasing plan has been agreed which will span the next ten years. To accompany this, a design code has being produced which will ensure that each of the development phases will be consistent and the whole scheme shares common design.

The first phase of the redevelopment will be to undertake improvements to the road infrastructure and services. The issue of the traffic flow in the town centre will be addressed with the diversion and redirection of traffic to the separate chain and car ferries. This will make the town centre streets much more pedestrian friendly and facilitate the creation of the first phase of new homes to the east of the site as well as the town square and foodstore.

Useful Websites

Cowes Waterfront – Venture Quays
The second phase of the development concentrates on Venture Quays on the East Cowes waterfront. This is currently being promoted in the interim as a location for marine related employment which is facilitating expansion, creating jobs and securing new investment for the town. At present there are some 250 people working on the site.

With the opportunity to access the waterfront, SEEDA aims to attract a diversity of marine operators in fields such as yachting and boat building, as well as renewable energy and composites; creating a business environment in which they can thrive and prosper.

The long term strategy for the site also includes the construction of a marina with approximately 320 berths to accommodate yachting events.

Cowes Waterfront - Venture Quays Tenants

  • Island 2000
    Island 2000 work to explore and utilise the island’s cultural and environmental assets to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.
  • Offshore Challenges Sailing Team
    First to relocate their headquarters to the Cowes Waterfront - Venture Quays site was the Offshore Challenges Sailing Team of world record breaking yachtswoman, Dame Ellen MacArthur. The company specialises in adventure sports, with a particular focus on offshore sailing. Offshore Challenges will occupy office space in the Columbine Building, overlooking the River Medina, and use the sheds for the repair and refitting of their racing yachts.
  • Solent Composite Systems (SCS)
    SCS open its new manufacturing and technology facility at the site to design and build bespoke solutions using composite materials for highly demanding applications such as fire proof carbon fibre engine enclosures, and offshore oil and gas structures. The company’s main focus, however, is in the wind energy sector, where it provides a portfolio of services in development and manufacturing of wind turbine blade moulds and related components.
  • Vestas Blades UK Ltd
    World leading wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas Blades, has expanded its operation to the site to set up new production lines and an international training facility. Already a major company on the Island employing 450 people, the new investment in the site represents a significant expansion for the company.

The latest Development publications can be found here

© South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), 2009 
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