£18.6m jobs boost revived

Copse Road, in Fleetwood, where a proposed new fishing facility could be built

Copse Road, in Fleetwood, where a proposed new fishing facility could be built

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Bosses behind an £18.6m fishing project which could revive the industry in Fleetwood have announced their plans to take the scheme forward.

Wyre Fish Dock Management, Associated British Ports and Wyre Council are currently seeking to build a fish processing village on land between Amounderness Way and Copse Road.

Representatives from the port have announced they are set to visit Grimsby, in Lincolnshire, where a similar site already exists, after the proposal was discussed at a full meeting of Wyre Council.

Coun Gordon McCann, Wyre Council’s economy portfolio holder, said: “We will be going across to Grimsby to see what they’ve done there and see if we can get any tips.

“We certainly will be looking at areas so we can move this forward.”

Although a date has not yet been set for the meeting, Coun McCann added it will be arranged as soon as possible.

However, question marks still remain over how the scheme will be financed.

The scheme was cancelled in 2010 when the North West Regional Development Agency, which had been the main funding source, was scrapped.

Coun McCann added: “There is, of course, the question of funding.

“Whether we’ll be able to do anything in that direction soon I suspect not.”

Coun Marge Anderton represents the port’s Warren ward and was present at the meeting.

She said: “We were told the next stage is to send representatives from Fleetwood over to Grimsby to get some information and inspiration as to how they can progress.

“It would be fantastic if it happened.”

Associated British Ports put forward plans for the site in 2011, but funding is still being sought for the work.

Should the facility ever be fully built, it is estimated there would be between 200 and 250 jobs created and the local economy over five years would see an increase from £135m to £160m.

A meeting with representatives from the Grimsby site was held in Fleetwood earlier this month, and it is hoped the reciprocal visit will reveal more about the practicalities of running such an operation.

Coun Alan Marsh, chairman of Fleetwood Town Council, has also welcomed the move.

He said: “There has been talk for a long time now about extending and creating a more vibrant industry there.

“Whether we ever get our fishing fleet back is in the lap of the gods, but this is an offshoot of that. If there is potential for jobs, then let’s have it.”

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