A FORMER Cardiff Marina boatyard owner from Penarth has become the first resident to move into a brand new apartment complex overlooking the marina.

John Freemantle and his wife, Jen, are now the proud owners of a two-bed apartment within Bayscape - Cardiff’s only marina postcode – and a place that holds much history for the sea-faring duo.

Mr Freemantle started his career training to be a school teacher at a local college, but his passion for boats was always bubbling away in his mind. 

He took a job during the summer holidays at a boatyard in Penarth and it became clear to him that teaching was not going to be for him. Knowing this, John gave up his teaching course and took a full time job at the boatyard…and the rest is history.

Mr Freemantle moved from Penarth and started his own boat building workshop in South Clive Street in 1972 with British Road Services – now National Freight Consortium.

In 1982, the business was expanded and relocated to a greenfield site within Cardiff Marina, which is now the exact location of Bayscape.

The boat yard at the time stored around 20-30 boats. Long before the Cardiff Bay Barrage was built, the water was tidal and boats moored in the middle of the river.

As there was no road to the marina, Mr Freemantle built a track to enable him to get to and from the boat yard. In 1985 he put pontoons for the boats and laid the first cement for the slipway which was all created by Mr Freemantle's own hands.

In 2007 the Freemantles set their sights on retiring and sold the boat yard - which had grown to storing more than 250 boats - to a family friend of their business partner who used to visit the boat yard as a child. And so Bayscape began.

One day the couple were walking along the water’s edge and looked across to see the unique development taking shape in the exact spot of Mr Freemantle's beloved boat yard, where 30 years previously they brought in the original electrics, telephone line and water. The couple decided to move back to where they had spent many happy years.

Mrs Freemantle said: “We love living here, it feels really safe and there’s a great sense of community. I look forward to coming home”.

To find out more about Bayscape, visit www.bayscape.co.uk , call 02920 398 208 or email info@bayscape.co.uk.