As part of the Port of Milford Haven’s diversification strategy, the Milford Waterfront Master Plan is a long-term vision to grow the tourism economy in Milford Haven. The development is a key component of the tourism landscape in Pembrokeshire and outline planning permission for the overall Milford Waterfront regeneration scheme was granted by Pembrokeshire County Council in 2019. Since then, the team at the Port of Milford Haven have been working hard to make this vision a reality.
In recent years, Milford Waterfront has really grown in popularity, with a bustling café culture, high quality restaurants, independent retailers, galleries and appealing holiday accommodation options. We’re also famous in the county for our calendar of popular large-scale events, all perfectly framed between the backdrop of Milford Marina and the historic Milford Haven Waterway which creates a unique outdoor venue.
The transformation of the former industrial dockyard all began in the early 1990s, with the relocation of Milford Haven Museum to the Old Custom House building, and the launch of Milford Marina with the Cutty Sark Tall Ships in July 1991. Taking time to reflect on progress since that infamous event for Milford Haven fills us with pride. Whilst we’ve come a very long way in our first 30 years ago, with recent developments including the Floatel Cabins, The Shores and Costa Drive Thru, we’re really looking forward to the next chapter which begins with the start of the build of a brand new 100 bedroom hotel in January 2021.
The story so far
The schedule for the hotel development remained on track, with the timber frame structure starting to bring the scale of the hotel to life. The Mantis crane has been used to manoeuvre the timber panels and other materials into place. There will be four floors of accommodation on top of the ground floor steel structure. As the timber frame is installed, the brick work will follow behind in line with the progress of the building.
Following the successful completion of the steel structure on the ground floor, preparations were underway to start to build upwards. The giant ‘Mantis’ crane arrived on site on 26th May, on one single lorry, and once fixed in position with concrete ballast blocks, was erected to its full scale. The crane will be on site during the remainder of the construction to lift materials to the upper floors. When not in use, the boom of the crane is free to move in accordance with the wind direction at the time, with safe clearance from all nearby buildings, so the views will change every day.
May 2021 saw the installation of the steel frame for the ground floor of the hotel. Engineered by Dollcast, the steel structure arrived on flat bed lorries and was lifted into place under the expert guidance of Carter Lauren. Once complete, the next stage will be to build the four storey prefabricated timber frame structure on top.
Following the completion of the piling works, the concrete foundations were poured to provide a solid platform for the sub-floor blockwork walls. The block and beam ground floor system and stub columns for the steel frame were then placed in April 2021. This process involved moving pre-cast beams into position on top of the subfloor walls by crane with blocks placed in between creating the ground floor structure.
The contractors for the construction of the hotel, Carter Lauren, arrived on site in January 2021 to commence building works. The first stage of the construction project was the piling, which was completed ahead of schedule in early February. The construction is now underway, with works being carried out between 7:00am and 8:00pm Monday to Friday, and 8:00am to 1:00pm on Saturdays (when required) for a period of approximately 18 months.
The excavation of the site was completed ahead of schedule. This included removing the former weighbridge which was used by all lorries picking up the catch landed at Milford Docks. All lorries entering the dock were weighed on this empty and again when departing with the fish landed by the trawlers to determine the weight of the catch landed. Wye Valley finished on site on 4th December, with a site ready for the construction phase of the hotel. Over the course of the demolition project, over 2,500 tonnes of material, including wood, general construction waste, mixed hardcore, iron and steel was removed from the site and recycled.
The demolition was completed and the materials safely removed. All material (steel, concrete, metal work, mechanical and electrical fittings) from the demolition was separated and stockpiled on site before being taken to a licenced Waste Transfer Station. And the next step for Wye Valley was to over dig to 3 metres across the whole site to survey ground conditions and remove any obstructions before construction can commence.
Progress with the demolition ran ahead of schedule, in a safely controlled site.
We welcomed staff members who had worked at the former Ice Factory to come and see progress on a site tour with the Wye Valley team.
Due to Covid-19, the start of the demolition of the Burnyeats Building was delayed. The demolition programme started in September 2020.
The temporary fence around the area forms the layout of the hotel construction site and as a result, public access to the water side is no longer possible until completion of the hotel. A pedestrian diversion route is in place to allow people to move safely around the site.
With more visitors eager to stay to enjoy leisure time, events and restaurants at Milford Waterfront, the new 100 bedroom hotel built on the site of the former Burnyeats Building, or “The Ice Factory” as it was best known locally, will be a great addition to Milford Haven.
The build began in January 2021 and is expected to take around 18 months. The Tŷ Hotel at Milford Waterfront will be managed by the Celtic Collection, the team behind the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.
The plans for the hotel were approved by Pembrokeshire County Council in July 2019, with the target completion date of mid-way through 2022.
Frequently asked questions
There will be periods where noise and vibration are unavoidable, for example during piling, however this will be kept to a minimum where possible. Contractors will be on site between 07:00 and 20:00 Monday to Friday and between 08:00 and 13:00 on Saturdays when required for a period of approximately 18 months. No works will take place on Sundays or public holidays.
As Principal Contractor, Carter Lauren is duty bound to adopt ‘Best Practicable Means’ to minimise dust nuisance arising from site activity. The Institute of Air Quality Management has developed guidance to prevent and mitigate dust nuisance on construction sites. Some of the practical measures they will undertake include:
- Tools and equipment that may have the potential to generate dust will be fitted with dust suppression systems that can be activated when required
- All plant, tools and equipment used on the site will be maintained in good order, with a regular inspection/maintenance
- Plant will be well maintained, and measures taken to ensure that they are not left running for long periods when not in use
- Stockpiling should be limited and be dampened down and covered
- Vehicles carrying dusty materials should be sheeted, regularly swept and hard standings should be water sprayed
- Wheel washing equipment should be provided at the site exit.
There is lots of free parking at Milford Waterfront in the following locations:
- The main car park on Mackerel Quay
- The small car park on the hill behind The Harbourmaster
- All car parking spaces underneath Victoria Bridge
- The car park on Nelson Quay between Martha’s Vineyard and Spinnaker Café (parking is permitted for up to 3 hours, between 08:00 and 22:00).
- The spaces behind and in between the shops, cafes and restaurants on Nelson Quay are reserved for residents only.
A pedestrian diversion route is in place to allow people to move safely around the construction site.
The build of the hotel is expected to take around 18 months with the target completion date of mid-way through 2022.
The Port of Milford Haven is funding the build of the hotel. As a Trust Port, we take a long-term view on investments and believe the creation of a hotel at the waterfront will add value to the already popular visitor destination.
Carter Lauren Construction is proudly based in South Wales. Approximately 85% of its Management team and workforce live and work in South and West Wales. At each stage of the construction process they explore the opportunity to engage with local specialists, sub-contractors and labour providers. They primarily use local Welsh firms within all their projects and are always looking to open up sub-contracting pathways. They have been in contact with the local Workways + team and look forward to working with them in providing much needed work experience and job placements to some of the candidates.
The Port and the operator were very involved in the interior design. While we cannot yet reveal the operator, the rooms will be in line with their brand but the common areas and particularly the ground floor bar and restaurant areas have been designed to reflect Milford Haven’s sense of place.
The hotel will feature a mix of standard and family rooms over five floors, as well as a restaurant and bar with a private dining area, some meeting rooms and a small gym for guests to use during their stay.
The building has been carefully designed to be fully universally accessible and will include level thresholds at all public entrances.
Carter Lauren sites operate under strict Covid-19 restrictions developed in line with the Construction Leadership Council Site Operating Procedures. They have a dedicated 'Covid Marshall' appointed to each site. The sites are visited by both internal and external Health and Safety Advisers who at present are spending a large portion of their visits inspecting and ensuring sites are operating in line with the policies and the Council’s guidance.
All job vacancies that are advertised are open to anybody who wishes to apply for them and posts will be awarded to those with the required skills and qualifications.
The hotel operator will be advertising vacancies when it is appropriate to do so.
The Port launched its first public consultation on the Milford Waterfront in 2012. Since then, revised applications have been submitted in line with changing market conditions. Staff have continuously kept stakeholders up to date with the latest developments in the form of one-to-one meetings, presentations, newsletters and via social media, and all feedback is taken into consideration. The team are happy to discuss any new ideas or comments with stakeholders and welcome feedback on the development.
The Port has a long-term vision to grow the tourism economy in Milford Haven. In recent years Milford Waterfront has grown in popularity thanks to a bustling café culture, high quality restaurants, independent retailers and galleries. There is also a calendar of popular large-scale events which attract thousands of people. We believe the hotel will attract new visitors to the town and complement the existing offering at the waterfront.
Looking for a Place to Stay?
We've got a range of accommodation options currently at Milford Waterfront including our Floatel Cabins and The Shores Self-Catering Holiday Apartment with views over the Milford Haven Waterway.
Milford Haven is a great location for visits to Pembrokeshire being centrally positioned with plenty to explore on our doorstep as well as further afield.