SHG reveals it wants the state to pay for the modernization of Plymouth Fisheries which is needed to save it and the town’s fishing fleet
The owner of Plymouth’s fishing pier is to ask the government for money to redevelop it into a modern facility with waterside shops and restaurants in a bid to save it and the town’s fishing fleet . Sutton Harbor Group Plc (SHG), which is already benefiting from a £3million taxpayer-funded lock repair, said it was working with Plymouth City Council on new plans for Plymouth Fisheries and would ask to money to ministers.
It comes as SHG’s latest accounts reveal the value of Plymouth Fisheries is now £185,000 in deficit and weighing on the overall value of the company’s property assets. SHG’s report to investors blamed the “ever lower level of trading at Plymouth Fisheries”, saying it “informed the overall lower value of the appraiser’s fishing asset”.
The report says Plymouth Fisheries is in dire need of an overhaul. SHG has previously said it wants to build a new fish market twice the size of the existing one, improve pedestrian access around the waterfront, and build shops and restaurants overlooking the fish market.
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SHG’s report to the Stock Exchange said: ‘The Plymouth Fishing Complex is now 27 years old and the group recognizes, along with industry and Plymouth City Council, that upgrading the facility would support the future of fishing in Plymouth and would improve the port’s competitiveness. position. Redevelopment of the facility would require state support in the form of fishing industry grants and other subsidies, and the company is working, together with the local authority, on planning applications and grant applications. »
It comes as the fishing fleet has been hit by runaway inflation and continues to decline, hurting the economic performance of Plymouth Fisheries. The report says: “Trade at Plymouth Fisheries has returned to near pre-pandemic levels, although competition from other local ports and a declining local fleet continue to undermine the port’s performance.
“As fuel prices rise, making it increasingly difficult for fishermen to make profitable sea voyages, the company is working with suppliers to try to improve fuel purchase prices and pass the savings on to customers.”
Meanwhile, fishermen face disruption this autumn when the Environment Agency embarks on a six-month, £3million program to replace the cilia at Sutton Harbor Lock. The works, which are paid for by the government, are needed to ensure the lock operates smoothly, flood protection for Plymouth and flood protection for at least a decade to come.
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But this will result in restrictions to port users at certain times when passage through the lock will be forced. SHG said a “comprehensive communications programme” has been organized to provide real-time information to harbor users so that fishing industry, marina and public activities continue with “minimum disturbances”.
SHG said it was making interim arrangements to allow some fish to be landed at “a nearby location” which can then be transported to the Plymouth Fisheries complex for auction, processing and distribution . This is currently what happens to around 50% of the fish that arrives at the Plymouth Fisheries fish auction by road. SHG said: “This approach incorporates lessons learned from similar major works which were completed approximately 13 years ago on the lock gates.”
Plymouth Fisheries is one of the most important fishing centers in the UK. It supports over 600 jobs, directly and through the supply chain, and sells over 6,000 tonnes of fish each year. The purpose-built premises opened in 1995 following investment by SHG and Plymouth Trawler Agents.
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