KEY figures in Hayle gathered to celebrate an "historic day" for the town as construction started on land that has been derelict for 40 years.
The first part of the regeneration project at South Quay – which will see a supermarket and vital repairs to the harbour wall – started on Friday.
ING, which owns the harbour, organised a site tour for town councillors and Hayle MP George Eustice, who have been part of the consultation to get work started at the quay.
John Pollard, leader of Cornwall Council and councillor for Hayle North, welcomed the news after seeing three previous owners of the harbour fail to regenerate the site.
He said: "It's an historic day for Hayle. For us who have been dealing with this for 40 years this is the moment we never thought would happen, but it has and it is.
"This is an example of what can happen when we work together."
The £30 million development will also see flood defences along the harbour wall raised, sluice gates replaced and a new promenade constructed.
Talks are expected to confirm plans for the construction of a pedestrian bridge from the quay across to Penpol Terrace.
Work will soon get under way to repair the breach in the quay wall, which has been a "scar" on the landscape of the harbour for decades.
George Eustice, MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle, said: "I think this project is proof good things come to those who wait; we have certainly waited. Credit is due to all those who have worked so hard to get this exciting project off the ground because it has been a complicated process.
"It is now time to get the job done and I am really looking forward to what a new South Quay will mean for the future of Hayle."
Developers Bowmer and Kirkland have around 30 people working on site, where the construction of an Asda supermarket is expected to be completed at the end of next year.
The regeneration also includes plans for a restaurant, 30 homes and a retail unit.
Phillip Ellis, divisional director at Bowmer and Kirkland, said the architects have done a great job ensuring the development will be visually in-keeping with the historic harbour.
He added: "At the moment work is going very well. What really pleased me is how we have been welcomed in the community. It's probably the most interest we have had from the community asking what we have been doing."
Access to the site will include a junction being created on Carnsew Road: details of when roadworks will take place are yet to be confirmed.