A £1MILLION wooden luxury powerboat is being built at the restored Seaking Boatyard, in the heart of old Leigh fishing village.

It is the first boat to be built at the yard, which was reopened in May, for more than 20 years.

The 17-metre, entirely wooden vessel, will be displayed at the Monaco Yacht Show in September, before being shipped to Dubai, where its new owner, a wealthy sheikh, will collect it.

Don Ladell, who runs the business, said: “It’s fantastic.

“The boat isn’t complete yet, but we are more than halfway through the three-month building process.

“It’s going very well.

“This will be one of the world’s most luxurious powerboats and will be fitted out for the rich and famous.

“We’re using Leigh traditions with a modern twist.”

Mr Ladell, 24, of Barbour Green, Wickford, said the yard is already attracting curious visitors and residents to watch the 12 staff in action.

He said: “We get about 20 to 30 visitors going in and out all day.

“I quite enjoy it and I encourage people to come into the yard to see what we are doing. This is a very vibrant little business, which is revitalising the boat-building trade in this area.

“I want to expand this company to other properties on the seafront.

“Hopefully, we will be going for many, many years.”

Mr Ladell set up the project with entrepreneur John Cross, who owns the Boatyard restaurant nextdoor, and held the lease for the Seaking.

The yard had been vacant for about four years before its restoration.

Peter Dolby, chairman of Leigh Town Council’s foreshore and environment committee, said: “The town council is extremely pleased traditional capability and wooden boat-building has returned to the old town after many years.

“I don’t think wooden boats have been built in Leigh for about 20 to 30 years, though there have been wooden boat repair companies.

“It’s nice Mr Ladell has allowed visitors and residents along to go and see them at work.

“It’s well worth a visit.”