Historic shipyard could help Milford’s revitalization
MILFORD, Del. – Locals are hoping Milford’s last historic shipyard holds the key to revitalizing the city.
“For this project to get support from the state of Delaware and from another private entity would really have a ripple effect on our downtown economy,” says Rep. Bryan Shupe, a Republican representing District 36 in Delaware.
On Wednesday, Governor John Carney visited the last historic shipyard in Milford. The owners of Vinyard Shipyard are looking to sell it to someone who would maintain its history. That’s why officials are turning to the Governor for help.
“I would love people to know Milford as the Mispillion River. We know it as the Mispillion River, the shipbuilding heritage that we have here,” says Shupe. “And we would love for people to come here and say ‘I want to see the Vinyard Shipyard.'”
The goal is to showcase the area’s rich history in a more interactive way. “So it would be a public park where people can be educated on our heritage and they can also be educated on workforce development and vocational training as well,” says Shupe.
But Milford’s mayor says the shipyard is just a piece of the puzzle that will add to what the area already offers. “Well the shipyard is going to help. But I think Milford should be known for being a happy town, an artist’s town. People are happy here. Living is cheaper. People are friendly. So it’s really good,” says Archie Campbell, the mayor of Milford.
Officials tell 47 ABC they’re hopeful this will become a reality because of how much success the city has seen in recent years.
“In the Downtown Development District we’ve had over $30 million pumped in over the last three years with private investment. And the public investment is really what has created that in places where it would not have been worth a return on investment before it has become that,” says Shupe.
Officials say the main idea is to connect the shipyard to the city’s current Riverwalk. Some proposals for this shipyard include an event space like a wedding venue which officials say would draw even more people the city.