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26th March 2018 - Press Release

Harbour swimming reinstated as Port moves forward with vision at Western Docks

Visitors to Dover beach will be delighted to hear that swimming in Dover will be reinstated as the Port's contractor, VSBW, was able to install over 700 tube and 1500 sheet piles during 2017; resulting in the bulk of the major marine infrastructure for Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) being completed.

As a result of the considerable progress made on DWDR, the Port has been able to remove all the swimming restrictions along Dover’s seafront well ahead of the summer season and in time for the start of Channel swimming training. 

Dave Herrod, DWDR Programme Director at the Port of Dover, said: “We have worked hard with our contractor to ensure that the bulk of the piling infrastructure has been completed in time for the start of the leisure season.

“The Port is happy to say that access for swimmers has now been reinstated, and this now forms part of the incremental return of the public realm and enhanced waterfront experience.

“We thank the communities of Dover for their continued patience and support.”

In addition, the marine safety exclusion zone which was established in the harbour to provide delineation between the dedicated swim and leisure zone and the marine construction area, to the east of the Prince of Wales Pier, has now been reduced from 150m to 70m, providing public access to a greater area.

The updated safety zones will be signposted at various locations along the seafront Esplanade, and will remain in place throughout the remaining construction stage. Marine users are still advised to navigate with caution at all times and to take directions from Dover Port Control (VTS) when required.


Notes to editors


  1. Port of Dover

The Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) is a one-off opportunity for the regeneration of Dover, bringing new investment into the area.  With UK Government planning approval and supported by a mix of private finance and European Union grant funding, DWDR will deliver:


  • Relocation and further development of the cargo business with a new cargo terminal and distribution centre;
  • Creation of greater space within the Eastern Docks for ferry traffic;
  • A transformed waterfront to ultimately attract a host of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants with Dover's unique backdrop of the harbour, cliffs and castle; and
  • Much needed quality employment opportunities for local people.


DWDR is the single biggest investment ever undertaken by the Port of Dover with c.£250m committed to deliver the first phase.

DWDR scored ‘Excellent’ for the CEEQUAL Interim Client and Outline Design Award - the evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme that promotes the achievement of high environmental and social performance in civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and public realm projects.



  1. VSBW

VSBW is a joint venture between VolkerStevin and Boskalis Westminster to deliver the marine structures and bridge contract for the Port of Dover’s flagship Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) development.

With a contract value of £115m, this construction stage will include the design and build of two new berths including quay walls and land reclamation, a new marina pier, the marina curve, navigation channel and new lock gates, Bascule Bridge and capital dredging work. 

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