South West Wales

St Catherine's Island fort off Tenby to open to visitors

St Catherine's Island
Image caption The fort on St Catherine's Island was first used in 1868

A Victorian fort on an island off the Pembrokeshire coast is to reopen as a tourist attraction after being closed for decades.

St Catherine's Island fort - a landmark off the coast of Tenby - once housed a zoo but has been disused for 36 years.

A previous application to reopen it was turned down by National Park planners.

But Pembrokeshire Coast National Park's planning committee approved a revised plan because of the "economic benefit" the attraction would bring to the area.

A number of conditions will be put in place prior to any developments taking place on the island.

The proposal by the Tenby Island Project includes restoring the fort and adding a nature walk, boat landings, shops and places to sell food and drink.

Image copyright
Image caption The building has stood empty since 1979

A Tenby landmark

  • The fort is a scheduled ancient monument and grade II-listed building
  • It was a marine fort from 1868-1870, built to protect Milford Haven
  • It was decommissioned as a fort in the early 20th Century, becoming a private dwelling
  • It was brought back to military use during World War Two
  • It was used as a zoo between 1968 and 1978

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