A MULTI-million-pound project to protect an Isle of Wight harbour has moved another step closer.

Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) has appointed Boskalis Westminster to construct a £7m detached breakwater for Cowes. Breakwaters are coastal defences used to prevent erosion.

It is a two-stage project that begins this spring when the core structure will be built before it will be allowed to settle until spring 2015, when construction will be completed.

The 350m breakwater is the first phase in transforming Cowes into a sheltered harbour and is joint-funded by CHC and the Homes and Communities Agency.