A MULTI-million-pound project to transform a Hampshire marina will be completed in time for its 50th anniversary celebrations.

The award-winning Buckler's Hard Yacht Harbour was been equipped with 66 extra berths, many of which have already been allocated to new customers.

Due to be completed in April, the £2m scheme also includes enhanced electrical services, improved WiFi and a new visitor area.

The marina was opened by the previous Lord Montagu in a ceremony attended by round-the-world sailor Sir Chay Blyth.

Celebrations marking the 50th anniversary and the completion of the upgrade are due to take place on May 1, with guests getting together virtually if they are unable to meet in person.

Some of the people who attended the 1971 launch have been invited to return.

The reconfiguration and extension of the marina aims to secure its future as well as keeping pace with the demands for bigger berths, more convenient walk-ashore pontoons and improved facilities.

Russell Bowman, managing director of Russell Bowman, said: "We are very pleased to mark this significant moment in the history of the Beaulieu River.

"It's fitting that the redevelopment should be completed in our golden anniversary year and we look forward to a bright future, with new and improved facilities while maintaining the charm of the river."

The work was carried out by Walcon Marine, of Fareham, which built the original facility.

Mr Bowman added: “It has been a pleasure working with Walcon. My thanks also go to Gosport-based Marina Projects, who designed the new marina and have project-managed the redevelopment."

Beaulieu Enterprises has worked with agencies including Natural England and the Environment Agency to ensure the protection of the river’s unique habitats and species.

Harbourmaster Wendy Stowe said: “We’ve always been committed to providing a friendly and personal service to all of our visitors and that’s particularly important to us in these uncertain times.

"We are proud of the Beaulieu River community and can’t wait to celebrate our anniversary with berth holders and visitors when we open our new facilities.”

The site won the the Yacht Harbour Association’s coveted Coastal Marina of the Year (for under 250 berths) trophy in 2018/19.