A bid was made by Reform Energy with a plan to develop land in Fleetwood into a fish park and create an innovative energy recovery plant adjacent to the park.
The announcement follows a visit to the area by Communities and Local Government Minister Penny Mordaunt MP last week at the request of Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood. During the visit, she acknowledged the potential of the project and praised the passion of local people to make it work.
Councillor Peter Gibson, Leader of Wyre Council, said: “I would like to thank Eric for all his hard work in making this come about and the Minister for coming to Fleetwood and recognising the potential that can be released with a fish park. I would also like to thank the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership for their support in this bid.”
Councillor Pete Murphy, Cabinet member with responsibility for economic development at Wyre Council, added: “This is fantastic news, not just for Fleetwood but the whole borough. It’s not just about a fish park though. There will be jobs created at the energy plant, in construction and possibly new retail and housing. It will have a massive positive impact with long term benefits.”
Eric Ollerenshaw MP said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Fleetwood Fish Park project has been allocated £2.5m. My thanks to the Prime Minister and to Penny Mordaunt MP who visited Fleetwood to see the site last week.
“The idea of regenerating Fleetwood and the fish processing industry with a fish park has been around for a while. I am really proud to have played my part in getting this money on the table to finally get this project started and my thanks to Reform Energy and Wyre Council for their work in supporting and designing this successful bid. This is another vote of confidence in the future of our town.”
The Regional Growth Fund supports projects that also raise private sector investment to create economic growth and employment. The funding will be used to create a fish park on land at the docks, creating new accommodation for existing fish processing businesses and expanding the industry.
Plastic film manufacturing firm Victrex, based at Hillhouse International Business Park in Thornton, was also successful in a £2.5m bid for a world class research and development high performance polymer innovation centre.
It will undertake industrial and experimental research of new products and markets, triggering the next phase of business growth and creating 64 high quality new jobs. Main activities will be the construction of the innovation centre (approx 18 months) followed by the execution of a portfolio of research projects, scaling up new products to full production and commercialisation.
Garry Payne, Chief Executive at Wyre Council, said: “I am delighted that both Regional Growth Fund bids have been approved which supports our ongoing growth agenda and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership for their continued support”.
(L-R) John Potter, Reform Energy ; Councillor Peter Gibson; Eric Ollerenshaw MP; Councillor Pete Murphy; Kenny Gilmour, Operations Director at Victrex; Garry Payne