Newcastle City Marina Wins Marina of the Year Award

Newcastle has been dubbed the Monte Carlo of the North following the award of the UK Coastal Marina of the Year 2015 title for NE1’s Newcastle City Marina, in the sailing equivalent of the Oscars.

The Yacht Harbour Association, the TYHA, the industry body for marinas in the UK, crowned Newcastle City Marina as the best small marina under 250 berths after a hotly contested online vote.

For the first time, yachtsmen and sailing enthusiasts were encouraged to nominate and vote for their favourite marinas in an online voting system, which meant the 2015 awards have been the fiercest competition to date.

The award is a huge accolade for the city and for NE1 Ltd, the company behind the marina, and was presented to Adrian Waddell, Operations Director at NE1 Ltd by the Yachts Harbour Association at a prestigious award ceremony at the London Boat Show on Thursday 15 January 2015.

Situated on Newcastle’s Quayside between the Tyne Bridge and Millennium Bridge, Newcastle City Marina was built by NE1 Ltd in 2012 to offer 132 linear metres of permanent pontoons.  Depending on the size of the vessels, Newcastle City Marina can accommodate 30 vessels at a time, including yachts up to 85ft in length and provides a unique experience to visitors, allowing them to moor in the heart of the city.In only its 1st season, the marina received the highest accolade that could be bestowed on a marina of its size when it was awarded 3 Gold Anchors by the YHA.  The Gold Anchor Award Scheme is a benchmarking tool, designed to help boat owners make an informed decision about the facilities available at marinas throughout the world. Marinas undergo an assessment and visitors are surveyed regularly for feedback.  The 3 Gold Anchor award allowed Newcastle City Marina to be eligible for a vote for the marina of the year.

Last year, Newcastle City Marina played host to the multi-million pound American superyacht, Sovereign, a privately owned yacht and one of the largest private yachts constructed in the United States. It was the first ever superyacht to sail into the Tyne and was greeted by a warm Geordie welcome from hundreds of people who came to the Quayside to take a look.

Over three thousand yachts and sailing vessels have stayed at the permanent pontoons since the marina opened including, in the last season, a flotilla of 58 Dutch yachts that made the journey across the North Sea for a weekend of festivities on the marina.  Each year, the Marina also plays host to the annual NE1 Zapcat powerboat Grand Prix in August, which has become a firm fixture in NE1’s events calendar thanks to the marina allowing easy access to the river for boats and competitors.

Commenting on the award, Adrian Waddell, Operations Director at NE1 Ltd said: “We are extremely proud and absolutely delighted to be named Marina of the Year 2015.   From day 1 we have set out to deliver facilities of the highest quality and having a marina on a famous river with a really great city centre on the doorstep is pretty unique.  This award is the result of many of our customers taking the trouble to vote for us, so a big ‘thank you’ to them all!

“A guaranteed warm Geordie welcome and the hospitality the city shows to Marina visitors has contributed to our success.  Creating the marina, which was match funded by the City Council, has enabled a new audience of sailing enthusiasts to visit Newcastle and allowed us to host exciting events on the river, all of which have made a lasting impression on people who have visited the marina.  I’ve no doubt this award will encourage sailors from further afield to come and experience this for themselves.”  Jon White, General Manager of The Yacht Harbour Association commented:”I congratulate the team at Newcastle City Marina for being voted by their customers UK Coastal Marina of the Year 2015 (under 250 berths). The high level of customer service and unique cultural experience provided by Newcastle City Marina to visiting boaters is clearly highly valued by customers from both the UK and northern Europe. The new online voting system, introduced this year, has led to a significant increase in the number of votes and marinas nominated and therefore increased competition which makes Newcastle City Marinas achievement even more impressive, the team at NE1 clearly know how to look after their customers!

“The Marina of the Year Awards are only open to Gold Anchor accredited Marinas, acknowledged as being of the very highest standard, our feedback is that the Awards have encouraged Marina operators and their staff to go that extra mile and build even closer relationships with their berth holders, a benefit that everyone who has participated will have enjoyed and not just the winners”.

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