£10,000 BOOST FOR ‘VITAL’ HARBOUR FACILITIES IN WHITBY Published:  18 January, 2011

Whitby harbour is to benefit from £10,000 worth of lifting equipment after the Marine Management Organisation agreed its application for a grant from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF).

The money will be used to install a new heavy duty landing davit in the lower harbour, something the port has been without since mid-2010 when the existing crane was removed from use after almost 40 years’ service.

It is expected the work will help the town’s fleet to reduce operating costs by saving them the need to hire lifting equipment such as cranes and forklift trucks. It is also hoped the enhanced facilities will encourage more vessels into using the harbour, which is expected to boost the harbour authority’s income and money available for further improvements.

The work is likely to be completed in May 2011 and will cost a total of £10,700, with EFF and Scarborough Borough Council each providing £5,350 towards the project.

The application for funding was made by Captain Martin Willis, the Whitby Harbour Master, and approved by the Marine Management Organisation, which administers the EFF scheme in England.

Captain Willis said: “We wouldn’t be able to carry out this vital work without the grant from the European Fisheries Fund.

“The new facility will be an asset for the town’s fishing fleet, particularly the larger trawlers. It will be much safer and more cost effective than procedures which were put in place due to the old, broken equipment. For example, there’s only a two-hour window each side of high tide to make the journey into the upper harbour, which vessels have to do currently and this is far from ideal if a quick turnaround back to sea is required.

“The equipment will be located in a convenient position to be arranged with the fishermen for ease of use and accessibility; we hope the new addition will also benefit other vessels using the harbour enhancing the port’s reputation as a quality location to operate from.”

Liz Humphreys, Director of Operations at the Marine Management Organisation, said: “We are committed to securing a sustainable future for the fishing industry, and funding projects using the European Fisheries Fund is one way in which we are helping to do so.

“The clear benefits of reducing costs and improving safety for the fishing industry made this project an excellent candidate for an EFF grant.”

The application was approved from Axis 3 of EFF, which is providing around £15m for projects around the English coast, to benefit groups working in the fishing industry in England, such as investment in port facilities.