Harbour revamp lands �1.2m boost
AMBITIOUS proposals to repair a crumbling harbour wall and improve facilities for a port’s fishing industry have landed a �1.2m boost.
The European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) announced yesterday that it had awarded a major grant for the regeneration to Southwold harbour.
The news was welcomed by those behind the project, which was drawn up following public consultation earlier this year and includes plans to strengthen the north dock.
The �1.22m grant - the largest sum handed out by the EFF and MMO - follows a bid from Waveney District Council and the prospective Southwold Harbour Lands Trust.
Details of the project, which will cost a total of �4m, were revealed at the beginning of the month.
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The plans include a 278m stretch of vertical steel piling to strengthen the existing wall along with improved facilities for fishermen including better moorings, refrigeration areas, water and electricity supplies, a crane and a refuelling area.
The new grant means the plans can take a giant step forward and that the Southwold Harbour Lands Trust can be officially set up.
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Mayor Sue Allen, who is a member of the trust and also a district councillor, said she would like to thank everyone - including MEPs. MPs, the district council and the trustees - for their commitment over the last 18 months.
“It is absolutely fantastic news and testament to everyone’s hard work,” she said. “Over the last year and a half we have all been working together and pulling in the same direction.
“At last the future of Southwold harbour is secure and we can now take the plans forward. On a personal basis I have been working towards this for six or seven years.
“It means so much for the town and for the future of the surrounding area. A lot of tourism comes off the back of Southwold and with up to date facilities it will also attract more fishermen, we know the interest is there. It will also benefit the lifeboats as well as all other harbour users.”
The long-awaited announcement comes after years of work trying to get control of the harbour handed back to the people of Southwold.
Ray Hedley, chairman of the England selection panel and head of MMO’s business relation team, said: “I was very pleased to see so many high quality applications. These are significant investments from both the public and private sectors at this time.”