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European Funding Boost for Fish Quay Regeneration

UK - Regeneration plans for North Shields fish quay have received a 45,000 boost from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF).

The money, given to fish processing company Frank Round Ltd, will see them to relocate their factory from Clifford’s Fort Moat which will help to bring the historic building back into public view.

Located at the eastern end of the fish quay Clifford’s Fort dates from 1676 and is one of the earliest surviving coastal batteries in Britain. The remains of the fort, which are on the English Heritage ‘at risk’ register, are concealed behind fish processing buildings, including Frank Round Ltd’s existing factory. This will be demolished as part of fish quay conservation and regeneration plans once the company relocates.

The move into a larger, high-specification facility owned by North Tyneside Council will bring significant benefits for the company, including enabling them to fulfil orders they’d previously had to turn down as they did not have capacity to work on. It is also likely to create two new jobs, taking the company’s workforce to 14.

Work to fit out the new premises is likely to be completed in March and will cost around £114,148, with £45,658 of this coming from EFF and the Marine Management Organisation.

Graeme Pickup from Frank Round Ltd said: “We’re proud to use locally landed fish and to be based on the North Shields fish quay. Although we’ve owned our factory for a number of years it wasn’t really ideal for us and we’d been considering moving, but there were no other suitable food-grade premises in the area.

“We’re grateful for the council’s support in leasing us the new facility and particularly for the EFF funding, without this it would have been really very difficult for us to do the move.

“We’re really looking forward into moving into our new purpose-equipped facility. It’s nice to know that the public will benefit from this too and will eventually get to see more of the old fort.”

North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Mrs Linda Arkley said: “The historic Fish Quay is a major heritage asset and we are pleased to support this re-location, which is another key step in the regeneration of this area and helps an important local business to continue to develop.

“Clearance of modern buildings from Clifford’s Fort by the Council has already opened up the superb view of the river entrance from the Fort that made this such a crucial defensive site. The removal of the remaining modern industrial buildings in the moat outside the east wall, such as Frank Round’s old premises, will help to tidy up the breakwater region and improve the view and understanding of this historical site for the public.”

In addition, through the EFF scheme over £60,000 was awarded in 2010 to help fellow fish quay business Larry’s Fishcakes relocate from Clifford Street to a council-owned premises in Prospect Terrace. This helped to secure the future of 50 year old family-run business whose premises were facing demolition. It also enabled them to purchase new equipment, which is helping them to fulfil new orders for major retail outlets.

Catherine Murphy, Programme Manager for the EFF scheme in England, said: “We have supported the redevelopment of the Western Quay in North Shields through £2m of EFF funding and I’m pleased we are able to extend support to local businesses too.

“Around £1.6m is still available through the scheme to specifically help fish processing businesses. I’d encourage any others in the area to get in touch and see how we may be able to help.”

the Fish Site Editor

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