AN impressive "armada" arrived in Cardigan to signal the official opening of the £2.5million Teifi Estuary Project today.

A flotilla of boats brought local MP Mark Williams, AM Elin Jones, the leaders and members of Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion County Councils and other dignitaries to Prince Charles Quay for the opening ceremonies.

"The Teifi is open for business," Cllr Keith Evans, leader of Ceredigion County Council, told the crowds gathered for the Hwyl Aberteifi celebrations on the newly created quayside.

"We can now all see the potential of this river to be a great economic driver for the area. This project has put the focus back on the river to generate more visitors and create more jobs. It is about halting decline and welcoming back bustling activity, so that today we can celebrate the great potential for the future," he said.

"The water invites people into the town and the general prosperity generated will encourage more locals to stay and make their living here."

AM Elin Jones, who cut the tapes to signal the official opening of the project, said: "This project shows that we should be making much more of our rivers. Cardigan is here because of the river and today marks an important reconnection of the river with the town."

River project officer Jim Evans commented: "It is great to see everything finally completed. What is most important to remember though, is that this is not an end, but the start of a great new future for the Teifi and for Cardigan and there is enormous potential here for the future."

After the official speeches the crowds on the quayside were entertained by children from Ysgol Plant Bach Aberteifi, poet Ceri Wyn Jones, Small World Theatre, harpist Catrin Finch, Lowri Evans and Ryland Teifi.