Wyre Council has agreed to use Government funding to acquire commercial units earmarked for redevelopment as part of the mixed-use transformation of Fleetwood Docks.
The council approved the £4.03m investment – allocated from the Government’s £900m Getting Buildings Fund in August – at a cabinet meeting this month.
The Fleetwood Dock project – for which a planning application has yet to be submitted – would involve the development of new build commercial floorspace to accommodate a food and fish processing facility, as well as the potential demolition of outdated industrial units and remediation works to prepare the site for the future delivery of housing.
Under the plans, Wyre would acquire the land from its current owner, Associated British Ports, and prepare a planning application for the scheme as the next stage in the process. Project Neptune is part of Wyre’s larger regeneration project for the area, known as ‘Future Fleetwood’, which intends to boost economic growth and prosperity within Fleetwood and the surrounding area.
Luke Hall, minister for regional growth and local government, said: “With a £4m Getting Building Fund investment, we’re helping Fleetwood celebrate its fishing heritage and preserve it for generations to come.
“Developing the new, modern facility will protect and create jobs, keeping Fleetwood on the map as a national leader in this industry. We’re levelling-up opportunities in towns like Fleetwood across the country, helping to safeguard their history while boosting growth and prosperity.”
To date, Future Fleetwood has seen the creation of the Market House Studios in Fleetwood Market and improvements made to Fleetwood Market’s outdoor facilities.
The council is also awaiting the outcome of its £22m bid to the Government’s Future High Streets fund, which would help kickstart regeneration of Fleetwood town centre.
Cllr Alan Vincent, portfolio holder for resources at Wyre Council, said: “Project Neptune will help to give our local economy a much-needed start, which is a key priority of our Covid-19 recovery plan.
“The creation of a modern, fish park in Fleetwood has been top of our wish list for several years. While we have built up an investment fund for this kind of project over the last few years, it has now been made possible thanks to the Government stepping in with grant funding.
“This is a good deal for employment in Fleetwood and Thornton Cleveleys, and a good investment for the benefit of our council taxpayers, too.”
And Steve Fogg, chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, noted that the county of Lancashire has received a total of £34.1m from the Getting Building Fund, “to invest in quality projects that will drive economic recovery and create jobs”.
He said: “I am delighted that money has been awarded to this scheme, which will enable the first phase of a mixed-use development to transform Fleetwood Docks.
“The proposal will not only create over 100 new jobs for the town, it will enhance the attractiveness of the area through the development of high-quality waterfront residential accommodation, which will help stimulate the local economy.’”