Over a dozen small retail and food and drink outlets have been introduced as part of the imaginative renovation of the Harbour Arm, carried out under the stewardship of FHSDC. The objective has been to respect and reflect the port’s heritage by commissioning painstaking restoration of stone, iron and woodwork, much of it dating back over a century. The work has been carried out using an approach that puts right the damage caused by many decades of neglect and persistent battering from storms whilst using materials that respect and interpret the history of Folkestone Harbour.
Further new outlets are planned as the wider development of the seafront gets under way. Work began in early 2020 to construct the first new homes at the western end of the site, close to the Leas Coastal Park, and where more new public spaces are planned to adjoin the Boardwalk.
Prior to the closure of ferry services in 2000, the harbour, its buildings and structures had been poorly maintained, and much of the infrastructure had deteriorated to the point where it was unsafe. Similarly, the railway station and branch line fell into disuse and were officially closed by the Department for Transport in 2014.
Under new ownership, plans were considered to bring new purpose and vision for the harbour and seafront, which had been neglected for years and had become derelict. Following extensive public consultation and years of planning, permission was secured in early 2015 by Folkestone Harbour & Seafront Development Company (FH&SDC) for mixed-use residential and commercial development.