UK. Outstanding historic Cornish marine business investment & property development opportunity
Thursday, 02 August 2012
A rare chunk of Cornish maritime history has just come on the market. Charlestown Harbour, an enchanting, yet fully functional, Grade II listed 18th Century port, near St Austell on the south coast of Cornwall, is for sale. The package includes properties, the waterfront, beaches and the operational and business assets of Square Sail, a specialist charter; marine training and marine film company and owner of two historical square rigged sailing ships.
As an added bonus, this unique marine freehold property and business portfolio offers considerable scope for residential and commercial property development (subject to the necessary planningOne of the few remaining British ports still in private ownership, Charlestown Harbour's setting is not just idyllic, but is also income generating in a number of different ways. As well as rent from commercial property within the original unspoilt harbour, such as the two weighbridge buildings and the quaint roundhouse at the end of the harbour, there are also water rights from Charlestown lakes, plus car parking, and an ice cream pitch.
Further income comes from 1.5 acres of land used as car parking for harbour activities, an ancient access tunnel leading from the harbour to the Heritage Centre, moorings and film location hire fees.
Tourism has its part to play, too. The village of Charlestown is in the Cornish Mining World Heritage site, so not surprisingly, the picturesque quays, harbour buildings and, of course, the historicsquare rigged sailing owned by Square Sail, are a particular draw for the St Austell area's 300,000 visitors.
For marine enthusiast or film buff alike, the sale of Square Sail Shipyard's highly successful marine business and assets will be irresistible, as it includes not only the Square Sail business itself, providing filming, set construction and consultancy to film and TV companies, sailing charters, festival charters and tourism, but also two magnificent historical square rigged sailing ships, used in epics such as Frenchman’s Creek, Treasure Island, and many others, as well as fixtures, fittings and equipment.
Finally, adjacent to Charlestown Harbour, there is a two acre plot, which would be suitable for either commercial or residential development (subject to planning). It is available on a strictly non-conditional basis, either as part of the overall harbour package or following the sale of the harbour freehold.
Charlestown Harbour Sale Breakdown:
1) Charlestown Harbour - including harbour, waterfront, beaches, approximately 1.5 acres of land suitable for storage or additional parking, water rights, income from moorings, pay and display, ice cream pitch and tunnel, plus commercial building rental and film location hire fees. Offers in the region of £1,500,000
2) Square Sail Ships and Business- available on a relocation basis or subject to purchase of harbour. The operational and business assets of the Shipyard includes: two historical square rigged ships, fixtures, fittings, equipment and transferrable goodwill. Offers in the region of £1,400,000
3) Freehold Interests in additional Development Land- approximately 0.809 Hectares (two acres) of land suitable for commercial/residential development (subject to planning). Available in conjunction with the purchase of the harbour or following the sale of the harbour.Offers in the region of £1,500,000
4) Additional commercial buildings - details and prices on request
5) Residential property - Harbour Master's Cottage - offered subject to separate negotiation
For all enquiries contact First Peninsula Marine via the website at www.firstpeninsulamarine.co.uk/charlestown harbour or call on 01548 854455.
Originally a tiny fishing village known as West Polmear, with a population of just nine people, Charlestown Harbour was built in 1792 by local landowner Charles Rashleigh in conjunction with John Smeaton. It was designed as an export port to serve the booming clay and copper industries of the region - Rashleigh being the owner of several copper mines and an extremely wealthy man. The harbour proved extremely profitable and was so busy that it was expanded again in 1825.
In its 19th Century heyday, Charlestown Harbour was a bustling port. Part of its success was that Rashleigh realised that it needed a variety of sources of income, and the harbour was filled with ships exporting clay and receiving imports of coal. He encouraged the development of sheds and warehouses along the harbourside, providing services such as rope making, brickworks, lime burning, net houses, bark houses and pilchard curing.
In addition, to creating a 7 mile long, man-made water system (called the Leat system) to supply the harbour with water from the Luxulyan valley down to Charlestown Harbour, Rashleighoriginally installed 14 waterwheels on this system- these wheels not only generated energy for mills and engineering businesses, but they also produced water supplies for the small tenant farmers who leased land from the owners.
By the early 1990s though, the harbour had reduced its activities and was only being used for china clay export. When the current owner Robin Davies bought it in 1994 he realised, like Rashleigh before him, that the harbour needed a multi-faceted source of income streams to make it both profitable and busy again. Robin breathed fresh life into the port by basing his Square Sail company here with its specialist TV and movie services, bringing square rigged sailing ships back to the harbour once again, developing repair and laying up services for vessels, through the use of the ships for sailing holidays, charters, corporate events, sail training and increasing tourism but making the port an attractive and interesting visitor experience..
The harbour that visitors see today is remarkably preserved, with a wealth of beautiful architecture and yet it remains a working port, with tall ships moored in the harbour, while the workshops adjacent to the harbour are used by Square Sail to build replica boats and for ship repairs.
Technical notes about the harbour
Charlestown Harbour consists of piers, quays and roads, with an inner and outer basin and beaches.
The inner harbour, which still features the original granite quays and high stone walls on both sides, benefits from constant water levels fed by the tide, a sea water pump and from the original 18th century seven mile leat system which store water in two large lakes at the north end of the village.
The inner harbour is separated from the outer harbour by a lock gate system, featuring a single lock gate, which descends horizontally to a pit below the harbour floor to allow ships in and out of the inner harbour. It is also equally suitable as a port for superyachts, or other small ships, as the inner basin measures 150 metres long by 33 metres wide.
The outer harbour, which opens directly into St Austell bay, is tidal and protected on the west side by a granite mole.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 August 2012 )