Extra council funds set to keep Fleetwood to Knott End ferry going

Extra funds look set to be given by Wyre and Lancashire councils to subsidise the Knott End to Fleetwood ferry to help keep it going.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 4:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 4:11 pm

Wyre Council is to budget for an additional £53,000 over the next four years, with Lancashire County Council set to match the sum.

The ferry service provides a vital link between the communities of Fleetwood and Over Wyre, and in a normal year the ferry attracts more than 30,000 passengers, including a number of tourists.

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A new deal looks set for funding of the Fleetwood to Knott End ferry service

Wyre Council and Lancashire County Council signed an eight year contract with ferry operators Wyre Marine Services in 2018, with the two authorities agreeing to provide subsidies of £10,000 per year each for the first four years.

After the first four years it was hoped the ferry would be self-sustaining and would not require further subsidies.

However, the service was badly affected by the Covid pandemic, meaning those original financial plans have had to be altered.

A report report to Wyre Council stated: “According to the operator, the costs of running the service have increased significantly over the four year period and they are not in a position to reduce this subsidy to nil, as was the intention under the contract

“It is proposed that Wyre Council increase its subsidy to the running of the ferry by £10,000 to £52,103 annually with LCC matching this increased contribution.

"The remainder of the budget gap (approximately £14,000) will be met from increased income generated by the service and fares will be increased accordingly by the operator.”

Coun Alice Collinson, planning policy and economic development portfolio holder, is due to make a decision on the funding imminently.