A MAJOR project to dredge Newport Harbour is due to get underway later this month.

Thousands of tonnes of silt are being removed from the bed of the River Medina to increase the depth of the navigable channel.

Dredgers will return to the harbour for the first time since the 1970s as part of the £370,000 project which will see contractors, Jenkins Marine, carry out the work over the next two months.

Cllr Wayne Whittle, cabinet member for regeneration at the IW Council, said the project supported the Newport Harbour regeneration masterplan.

He said: "This investment is essential in ensuring the harbour's future as an integral part of Newport's offering to residents, businesses and visitors alike.

"The harbour is a key part of our regeneration plans for the town — maintaining navigation along the river will allow its continued use as a recreational and commercial waterway."

Council leader, Dave Stewart, added: "Combined with future investment in harbour walls and improved pontoon facilities, the re-energising of the harbour offer is underway in earnest," he said.

The 1988 (and 2021) Harbour Revision Order gives the council the powers to dredge. The authority has secured a licence to allow the disposal of the material to an approved location at sea.

While the harbour will remain open during the works, a Local Notice to Mariners will be issued to advise harbour users.