Bembridge Harbour Trust (BHT) is a registered charity which aims to preserve and enhance Bembridge Harbour, its approaches and setting for the benefit of the public, including users of the Harbour and the communities of Bembridge and St Helens.
Bembridge Harbour is very unusual in that it is privately owned, with its very own Act of Parliament [Pier and Harbour Order (Bembridge Harbour) Confirmation Act 1963] that sets out the terms of its management.
BHT sees community-led control of the Harbour and its shoreside facilities as the ideal. It was set up in 2007, initially to raise emergency funds for a bid to buy the Harbour when it went into liquidation under the previous owner, Mr Blatch. The Trust was disappointed to be outbid by current owners, Malcolm and Fiona Thorpe, but determined to fully support the incumbent in any actions perceived as being for the good of the Harbour, and also to ensure that the statutory obligations set out in the Bembridge Harbour Act are fulfilled.
The Trust comprises Patrons, Trustees, an Advisory Board and Members. Its management is in the hands of the Trustees who retire by rotation (one third retiring each year) and are either re-appointed or new trustees are appointed at the AGM on the basis of one vote per Member. The AGM is held annually. The Advisory Board is also appointed by the Members at the AGM.
The Trustees liaise with other organisations in and around the Harbour, including:
- Bembridge Harbour User Group (BHUG)
- Bembridge & St Helens Harbour Users Assoc (BASHHA)
- Bembridge Sailing Club
- Bembridge Angling Club
- Brading Haven Yacht Club
BHT is a registered charity (No 1120225. Registered in July 2007) It is also a company limited by guarantee (Company No 05671595).