Fresh plans for a new £2million fishing quay in Eastbourne have been unveiled.
Eastbourne U10 Fishermen Community Interest Company is behind the ambitious blueprint which would see the complete redevelopment of land behind the Harvester restaurant at Sovereign Harbour transforming it from a makeshift storage and shipping area to a fully functional fishing quay.
The proposal is for three buildings, two to be used for storage equipment, storing fish on the ground floor and office spaces on the upper floors and the third could be a visitors’ centre.
Planning permission was granted but expired because of a delay in funding and now new plans have been submitted to the council.
Project lead Chris Williams said, “The site is currently occupied by the Eastbourne U10 Fisherman CIC and the fleet consists of some 32 boats employing up to 65 fishermen, 40 full-time and 25 seasonal workers.
“The proposal provides a sustainable site for the fishermen and significant local investment as well as a good design and a great deal of improvement to the visual amenity of the area.
“The ambition of the project is to create a Fishermen’s Quay, consisting of traditional net huts, wet fish sales, offices, workshops and in the future a learning /visitor centre to engage the local community with the heritage of the local fleet and local provenance of seafood.
“Other than the lifeboat, fishing boats were some of the first to use the harbour and this application cements the importance of keeping the fleet within the harbour at their current location.”
The plan is for the fishermen to buy the site using funding from the European Union Maritime and Fisheries Fund as well as loans.
Mr Williams said the Eastbourne static-gear fishing fleet lands fish and shellfish worth £2million every year.
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