“NOTHING is impossible with vision.”

That was the message coming from a group exploring Stack Rock Fort at the weekend.

Around 30 people went to explore the island on Saturday, July 25, with Phil Hedly and Ali Khan, business partners who want to purchase the island to turn it into an activity centre.

The explorers included local kayak groups, divers, anglers and architects, who were looking to see what could be done with the island if the fort is purchased.

Mr Hedly and Mr Khan are currently trying to raise the funds through a crowdfunding website.

Nicola Davies, a local accredited conservationist who has worked on similar projects, said she was there out of a personal interest.

“You need to have someone with an idea and the enthusiasm to carry it forward,” she said.

“By virtue of Phil having gathered so many people here today who are interested, it explains that level of enthusiasm.

Western Telegraph:

“Nothing is impossible. If the idea is there and the capital can be raised then it just becomes understanding the structure of the building and what changes can be implemented.”

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Ms Davies said the structure of the building was sound, adding that the logistics of getting things on and off the island would be the biggest hurdle.

Mr Hedly said that any barrier could be overcome.

He said: “I know it can work, all it’s going to take is effort and time.

“It will take time and money but It can be done.”

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Laying out a time frame, Mr Hedley said it could take between five and 10 years to completely renovate the island but said they would aim to open it in stages.

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If they managed to raise the funds to purchase the fort, Mr Hedly and Mr Khan said they wanted to make the island accessible so people could visit before renovations were complete.

“We don’t want to have people wait five years before they can come,” Mr Hedly said. “We want to make it safe and bring them on as soon as possible - the whole point is accessibility.

“There are lots of people locally who have boats. We could make this a destination - a place to have a look around and have a coffee, for a small entrance fee.”

The business partners said there had been a positive response from all the people they showed round.

Western Telegraph:

Talking about the hurdles they face, Mr Hedly said the biggest issue was making people realise it was legitimate.

“The biggest barrier is credibility,” Mr Hedley said. “It’s difficult to convince people it’s legitimate - that we’re going to do what we say.

Western Telegraph:

“We just have to do it right. I’m local, people local know me. The business is registered to me and my home.

“There’s not going to be millions to make out of this. It will take millions to develop it but it won’t me make me or Ali rich.”

So far the kickstarter has raised £8,000 of its £234,000 goal.

To find out more visit stackrockfortcic.com