Wyre plans fish and food campus

Regeneration bosses at Wyre Council are exploring funding options to unlock a £19m fish, food and business park for the borough's seafood industry.

A 14-acre site in the Copse Road area of Fleetwood has been earmarked for the purpose-built park for a variety of fish and shellfish processing and catching businesses in the area.

The industry itself has the potential to compete on a global scale but outdated premises hold Fleetwood businesses back.

Garry Payne, director of planning and regeneration for Wyre Council, said: "Following consultation with Wyre's fish processors, the council is determined to throw them a lifeline by providing modern, sustainable premises and facilities that will future proof their businesses.

"The scheme is a key element in delivering investment and jobs within the Fleetwood Masterplan framework. The Board of Lancashire County Developments (LCDL) has also approved it as a key priority for delivery in the Fylde Coast Multi Area Agreement."

The plans have been drawn up by AEW Architects and include several phases, starting with a new 50,000 sq ft unit for A&M Seafood. Later phases will see processing units of various sizes, offices, an education centre and auction hall. The scheme totals 130,000 sq ft.

Payne continued: "The challenge we have to overcome – and that's something we're committed to doing – is assembling the most appropriate funding cocktail. We're looking at five different sources at present, including private sector investment.

"It's vital that we get this right and identify how we will fund each phase from start to finish before we can progress to avoid any risk of not completing the project."

Payne added: "But we are hearing encouraging things from the right people and are continuing to hold discussions with the NWDA and the Marine Fisheries Agency about how we can take things forward.

"We will also be completing a full consultation with the processors to make sure that what they told us at the outset still holds true and that their needs haven't changed.

"This is a key project for the regeneration of Fleetwood and is the most effective way of saving a multi-million industry.

"The council will do all it can to make this vision a reality."

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People should be aware that the plan referred to is just a concept of what might be achieved if all the pieces fall into place. No definite proposals have yet been drawn up and a public consultation would take place following the drawing up of any plans.

By Wyre Borough Council

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