The planned construction of a brand new coastal activity centre has received high praise from a councillor.

Copeland Borough Councillor for Whitehaven South, Mike Hawkins, dismissed doubts about the The Edge - Cumbria's Coastal Activity Centre, which is planned for Whitehaven - saying it will help move the town forward.

The intention of the new centre is to transform Whitehaven's historic harbour into a hub that serves the community with land and water-based activities.

"I think [it will be] great," said Cllr Hawkins.

"I had concerns when this was first mooted about it's weather proofing, because where it is situated it is going [there will be] some big waves.

"But all assurances were that that would be taken into account.

"The more that the town has to offer, the better. I'm all for it and I think it's a fantastic idea.

"You are always going to get [some doubts] and you can't please everybody. I actually quite like the design of the building and I think it is something unique.

"It will stand out."

The Edge’s bold and contemporary design is inspired by the natural forms of the rocks and pebbles thrown onto the beach and harbour by the sea.

Construction of the landmark building is scheduled to commence in November 2021 with completion and opening set for December 2022.

Funded by Sellafield Ltd and The Coastal Communities Fund, plans for the centre include recreational and storage facilities, an indoor arts and events space, a cafe, public toilets and overnight accommodation.

Cllr Hawkins added:"It's offering another alternative [in] Whitehaven.

"Over the pandemic, I have noticed a lot more visitors to the town. [Some] have been visiting the Lakes and they've found their way over to the west coast.

"You hear some of the comments [that mention] what a little gem of a harbour we have got here.

"If this is something that can draw people in more, then all the better.

"All the work that the Harbour Commissioners are doing with the lighthouse restoration, the upgrading of the promenades, and the general tidiness of the harbour is really going to help put Whitehaven on the map.

"We can't stand still. It's not an industrial port anymore.

"It's a place to visit now."

In a key development of the plan for The Edge, Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners recently appointed Thomas Armstrong as the principal design and build contractor for it.