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Multi Million Rescue Plan for Fish Quay11 Nov 2009

A partnership has come to the rescue of an ageing quay structure that is essential to the future of the region's fishing industry.

 

Decades of constant use by fishing vessels, together with the impact of North Sea tides and weather, have taken their toll on Western Quay, a major berthing structure at the western end of North Shields Fish Quay, which is in need of urgent repair.

Owned by Port of Tyne and leased to North Shields Fish Quay Co Ltd, the structure has been found to be at risk of imminent closure.

But now a partnership - brought together by North Tyneside Council - have signed an agreement to deliver a £5.75m scheme to carry out a major engineering solution to ensure Western Quay serves the industry and wider regeneration at North Shields Fish Quay for future decades.

And work on the project - to be delivered jointly by Port of Tyne, North Tyneside Council, North Shields Fish Quay Co Ltd, One North East and Marine and Fisheries Agency - will begin on site from November 16.

"Western Quay is vital to the success of the local fishing industry and the future of North Shields Fish Quay, which as a designated port supports the whole regional fleet," said North Tyneside's Elected Mayor, Linda Arkley, welcoming the partnership initiative.

"It is where the bigger fishing vessels berth and an integral part of the visitor experience to North Shields Fish Quay. As a council we could not stand back and allow it to deteriorate further and are delighted to have the support of our partners to ensure this urgent work is delivered."

The work, to be project managed by the Port of Tyne, is to be funded by a £2m award from the European Fisheries Fund, £1.55m from North Tyneside Council, £1.2 m from One North East and £1m from Port of Tyne.
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Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of One North East, said: "This project is essential for large-scale fishing to continue in North East England, which currently supports around 1,200 regional jobs.

"The Fish Quay is a unique regional facility and this investment from One North East and our partners to renew the Western Quay will build on the major regeneration work that has already taken place at this thriving visitor and commercial centre."

Andrew Moffat Chief Executive at the Port of Tyne said "For centuries the Fish Quay has served the community well, providing economic prosperity and a strong regional identity to North Shields. The Port of Tyne is keen to sustain the Quay not only for future generations but also to support the local fishing industry and refurbishment work is set to commence at the beginning of November. The 44 week project is scheduled for completion in October 2010".

Jeremy Pritchard, Managing Director of North Shields Fish Quay Company, said: "That such leading organisations are supporting this project is testament to the importance of commercial fishing and its associated employment to this region. This work not only consolidates the premier status that North Shields enjoys as the leading port in England and Wales for nephrop (prawn) landings; but it will also improve a much valued public amenity for future generations to enjoy".

The project has the full support of the local fishing community.

It has been developed from the findings of a feasibility study, commissioned by North Tyneside Council from Halcrow that highlighted the value of the Western Quay to the local economy, particular through the jobs it supports.

The study recommended a full re-instatement to preserve the fishing industry and support the ongoing regeneration of the Fish Quay.

For further information contact:

Lisa Donohoe Assistant Marketing & Communications Manager
Tel: 0191 455 2671 Mobile: 07912 390777 Email: lisa.donohoe@portoftyne.co.uk

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