£20m fish park dream unveiled

An artist's impression of the fish park

An artist's impression of the fish park

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This is how Fleetwood’s planned £20m fish park is likely to look.

The developer behind the scheme, Reform Energy, has unveiled this new artist’s impression for the scheme, which will be powered by a £60m ‘energy from waste’ plant.

This will bring a new economic energy to Fleetwood

Reform says the new fish park could create up to 150 new jobs, and will safeguard around 600 jobs already involved in the fish processing businesses in the town.

Fish processors will be offered the opportunity to move into modern units on the new 13,000sq m development, located on a 10-acre site alongside Amounderness Way and owned by Associated British Ports.

Although the fish park will not go before Wyre planners until May at the earliest, Reform is confident the scheme will meet all the planning requirements needed.

Now a formal lunch event is to be staged at the Three Lights pub, on Amounderness Way, Fleetwood, on Tuesday, May 5 between noon and 8pm, when details of the project will go on public display for the first time.

Reform Energy chief executive John Potter said: “This development will bring a new economic energy to Fleetwood with the creation of the fish park, and also addresses two issues dominating the green agenda – delivering more energy generation from sustainable resources and reducing waste going to landfill.

“Fleetwood will become a flagship location in the UK for energy recovery technology, and Reform Energy intends to use the plant as a showpiece for other generation and regeneration projects across the region.”

Mr Potter says the energy plant, which will provide 40 jobs during its construction, commission and operation, will make no local impact on the environment, such as noise or odour. He added: “The energy recovery system we have chosen is designed to efficiently use waste material from commercial sources that would otherwise only be disposed of to landfill.

“Sophisticated technology and management of the site will mean little or no local impact, but the enormous benefits of green energy and new employment.”

The scheme was given a major boost when Reform received a £2.5m grant through the Regional Growth Fund to assist with creating the infrastructure for the project. Wyre Council chief executive Garry Payne said: “Fishing is a proud part of the town’s heritage, and is now secured as a vibrant element in the town’s future.

“Everybody wants it – now we have the means to make it happen.”

Fleetwood fishing industry veteran Peter Brady has voiced concerns that similar fish park developments, at Aberdeen and Hull, have failed. He also points out that Reform has no history or experience in fish processing or selling.

But Reform believes the fish park and the energy plant, which is the firm’s stock-in-trade, are a perfect match.

The combined heat and power (CHP) technology will be supplied by Finland-based global waste-to-energy specialist Valmet, and has been developed and used extensively in Europe.

Reform says the combined recovered energy output of the plant is sufficient to meet the needs of up to 8,000 homes.