Lyme harbour remains in the black despite pandemic

Lyme Regis harbour
Lyme Regis harbour (photo by Steve Wallis)

By Local Democracy Reporter Trevor Bevins

LYME Regis harbour has bucked the trend during the coronavirus pandemic and is still expected to finish the year having made a small profit.

All three of Dorset Council’s harbours – Weymouth, West Bay and Lyme Regis – have been affected by the pandemic this year, but Lyme is still expected to end the year with a £6,000 profit thanks to much lower expenditure than its neighbours.

Weymouth harbour has experienced an unprecedented drop in visiting boats this year and is likely to end the year with a loss – although slipway income has more than doubled.

Figures show 1,597 visiting boat nights this year, compared to 5,126 in 2019.

But the report to Dorset Council’s Harbours Committee highlights slipway income up from £6,170 in 2019 to £15,800 as people rushed to the harbour during the good weather, with a similar increase, from £3,450 to £6,490 for jet ski launches.

Overall marina berths income increased slightly, from 254 to 261 spaces let out, with a rise in visiting fishing vessels, up from 209 to 225.

Bridge lifts were down year on year – from 1,105 to 835, as demand dropped for larger vessels using the inner marina.

West Bay is reporting a similar pattern to Weymouth – with a drop in season ticket sales and visiting boats, but an increase in single launches, while at Lyme Regis season ticket sales went up from 39 to 54 and single launches went down from 217 to 213.

Visiting boat nights at Lyme Regis were down from 223 to 185 while the number of private moorings increases from 177 to 182, with commercial moorings dropping from 37 to 34, although there was an increase in commercial traffic paying overnight fees.

Budget figures for all three harbours have been affected by the unusual season.

At Weymouth income is currently put at £113,700 with expenditure at £268,300 – producing a deficit of around £154,600; West Bay’s figures show an income of £21,200 with £44,200 in expenditure; while at Lyme Regis the end of year position is expected to be favourable, by about £6,000.

Lyme harbour shows revenue budget expenditure of £1,060 and income of £7,200.

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