This is the former site of the Portland Naval Base and home of HMS Osprey - a naval helicopter base and a centre for testing and developing new helicopters. About 3000 jobs within the local economy was lost when the MOD announced its closure in 1990, and now thanks to the South West Regional Development Agency and the spirit of the 2012 Olympics, over £40m has been spent on developing the infrastructure of this area, including the roads, sea defences, marine industry centres and of course the new Portland Marina. Dean & Reddyhoff put a condiserable amount of investment behind this marina which on completion ticked all the right boxes to become the first marina in the UK to achieve the YHA's 5 gold anchors and the marina also won the Crown Estates Re-Investment Award.
Since the announcement of the 2012 Olympics, the eyes of the nation has been watching the development of this new marina and its neighbour, the WPNSA - the site for the 2012 Olympic sailing events - with great interest. The speed and efficiency in which this site has been developed has been particularly impressive. The publicity has elevated this marina into world class status. Its 600 fully serviced pontoon berths, and 70 dedicated visitors berths can accommodate vessels up to 44m LOA. The car park has capacity for 470 vehicles and the state of the art on site facilities includes a 6,500 sq ft bar and restaurant.
For a cruising yachtsmen wanting a short overnight berth before catching the early morning tide round the Bill, this marina does the job perfectly, however if you’re not in a hurry then the marinas in Weymouth has more to offer in terms of eating out, character and locality to shops and attractions etc. It should be noted that although the Portland Marina is closer to the Bill as the crow flies, there is no saving in time compared to Weymouth Harbour.
The walk around the Bill is a facinating stroll and takes a good day to achieve and the marina is a perfect starting point for such a walk. By pre-arrangement with the marina office, bicycles can be hired from Weymouth Bike Hire tel: 07973 751393.