The old slipway (pictured) is being replaced by a new version that will be larger and safer to use

East Devon District Council paying for larger slipway which will bring more business to Exmouth

Work on the new £1.2 million slipway at Mamhead in Exmouth is progressing well as the next stage in construction is about to get under way.

East Devon District Council is restoring the vital maritime access and is paying for a larger slipway, which will bring more business to the town.

Since the contractors Raymond Brown Ltd moved onto site at the beginning of March, work has focussed in the area formerly occupied by Mamhead Gardens. This is where vehicles and trailers will be able to manoeuvre in preparation for reversing down the new slipway to launch or recover their craft.

Construction of the new walls in the former gardens area is almost complete and the focus will now switch to work in the estuary. Larger plant equipment is being brought on site for the piling operation which starts in a few weeks.

The piling is expected to take six to eight weeks, and the area enclosed by the piles will be filled. Concrete slabs, which form the surface of the slipway will then be cast.

Work has been undertaken while there have been difficult ground conditions and during construction a crack in the sea wall appeared, which has been stabilised. The council will continue to monitor the crack closely until is repaired, which it anticipates will be in the autumn.

When completed, the slipway will be a larger, safer and more resilient facility for people to use for decades to come.

Councillor Andrew Moulding, deputy leader of East Devon District Council, who sits on the Exmouth Regeneration Programme Board in his capacity as East Devon's Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Partnerships, said: “We’re delighted to see that the contractors are making good progress, and it is exciting that they are now starting the work in the estuary itself.

“This is a positive investment for the town from the district council and we hope it will encourage water users from the area and further afield to use it and bring more business to Exmouth.”

The new slipway will be 38 metres long, and 12 metres wide, while the previous slipway, which closed in 2012 to protect public safety, is 34 metres long and 7.5 metres wide. The council expects it to be ready for use by Autumn this year.