Press Release: 15/2/2006

Barrage dog is one in a million

October 2005

The Cardiff Bay Barrage that once attracted much debate has this week attracted its one millionth visitor - a Golden Retriever called Henry whose daily walk on this increasingly popular visitor destination has landed his owner a European holiday.

Henry is the one millionth visitor to the Barrage, and to celebrate this milestone his owner Christine Chabert, currently living on a boat in Penarth Marina while she and her husband look for a new home, is being treated to two bmibaby flights from Cardiff to a choice of several destinations. The prize also includes lunch at Signor Valentino on Mermaid Quay in the Bay as guest of Cardiff Harbour Authority, who manage the Barrage, the 500 acre freshwater lake and the 13km waterfront of Cardiff Bay.

The Cardiff Bay Barrage was officially opened to the public in 2001 and has won awards as a feat of engineering from the British Construction Industry and achieved the Institution of Civil Engineers Brunel Medal. It was the catalyst for the regeneration of Cardiff Bay, and since its construction the area has become a premier residential and commercial centre, a hugely popular visitor attraction, and a maritime centre of excellence.

Councillor Nigel Howells, Executive member for Sport, Leisure and Culture said: “Congratulations to Christine and to Henry on their timing. The Barrage was of course instrumental in the regeneration of this area, and it fulfils a vital maritime role. It has developed into a very attractive destination in its own right and we are delighted that so many people use in so many ways.”

On being told Henry was the one millionth visitor, Christine Chabert said: “Henry comes across the Barrage for a walk every morning, and we also use the locks extensively for getting the boat out to sea. I think it’s a great attraction with the spectacular view there’s always something to look at on the water.”

The traffic using the Barrage is constantly increasing. Use of the locks is 11% up on the same period last year, there are now 250 more permanently moored vessels in the Bay than in 2004, and in the same time there has been a 15% increase in the use of the Water Bus, and a 60% increase in commercial licenses.

There is more usage of the visitor pontoons, leading to the Harbour Authority providing new facilities at the Graving Docks, and resulting in more business for the retailers and restaurants on Mermaid Quay.

The Barrage incorporates locks, bridges and sluice gates to handle the second greatest tidal range in the world, and a new fish pass, one of the most advanced in Europe enables migratory salmon and sea trout to return from as far a field as Greenland to their spawning ground up the rivers Taff and Ely.

Pedestrians can walk across to a landscaped embankment that provides an attractive promenade where the public can view the estuary and Cardiff Bay. The Barrage embankment also has a children’s play area, and the Age of Coal - an outside exhibition that celebrates the historical link between Cardiff and the Valleys..

For media information contact:
Tim Powell Tel: 07939 571 553  

ID: 1342   Revised: 13/10/2009

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