Wyre Council has approved capital investment as part of ‘Project Neptune’, a plan to build new commercial space on the ABP land on Fleetwood Dock. The investment was approved by Wyre Council’s Cabinet at a meeting on 2 December.
The project includes, subject to planning permission, new build commercial floor space to accommodate a new food and fish processing facility, potential demolition of outdated and no longer fit for purpose industrial floor space, enabling infrastructure investment to remediate unstable land and improved surface access to facilitate the future delivery of housing.
To support the delivery of Project Neptune, the council has been successful in obtaining funding under the Getting Building Fund from UK Government.
Earlier this year the Government announced a £900 million Getting Building Fund to deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure across the country. This fund is being targeted in areas facing the biggest economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is supporting the delivery of shovel-ready infrastructure projects, agreed with Lancashire Enterprise Partnerships to boost economic growth, and fuel local recovery and jobs.
Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP said, “With a £4 million Getting Building Fund investment, we’re helping Fleetwood celebrate its fishing heritage and preserve it for generations to come.
“Developing the new, modern, facility will protect and create jobs, keeping Fleetwood on the map as a national leader in this industry.
“We’re levelling-up opportunities in towns like Fleetwood across the country, helping to safeguard their history while boosting growth and prosperity.”
Project Neptune is part of a larger regeneration project, ‘Future Fleetwood’, which is working to deliver economic growth and prosperity to Fleetwood.
So far, the Future Fleetwood initiative has seen the creation of the new Market House Studios in Fleetwood Market and improvements made to Fleetwood Market’s outdoor facilities. The council is also awaiting an announcement on their £22 million bid as part of the Future High Streets fund to deliver their ambitious vision to kick-start regeneration of the town centre.
Councillor Alan Vincent, Portfolio Holder for Resources at Wyre Council, commented: “Project Neptune will help to give our local economy a much needed kick-start which is a key priority in our COVID-19 recovery plan.
“The creation of a new, modern, fish park in Fleetwood has been top of our wish list for several years. Whilst we have built up an investment fund for this kind of project over the last few years, it has now been made possible thanks to the Government stepping in with grant funding.
“Looking towards a secure future that includes job protection and job creation is at the top of our priorities. This is a good deal for employment in Fleetwood and Thornton Cleveleys, and a good investment for the benefit of our Council Tax payers too.”
Cllr Vincent continued: “COVID-19 has had a detrimental impact on the economy and businesses, but this project will safeguard 65 jobs and create many more to help get us back on track. These are exciting times for Fleetwood and we look forward to getting started on the project.”
“I’d like to thank the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and ABP for their work on obtaining this funding to make project Neptune possible”
Steve Fogg, Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership said, ”The Covid-19 crisis has naturally had an adverse impact on most areas of the Lancashire economy and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership is in regular dialogue with Government to ensure the economic effects are minimised and the county receives the support it needs and deserves.
“By working closely with our partners, we have successfully secured a total of £34.1m from the Getting Building Fund for investment in quality projects which will drive economic recovery and create jobs.
“I am delighted money from the Fund has been awarded to this scheme in Fleetwood which will enable the first phase of a mixed use development to transform Fleetwood Docks.
“This proposal will not only create over 100 hundred new jobs for the town, but it will also enhance the attractiveness of the area through the development of high quality waterfront residential accommodation, which I am sure will help provide the impetus to stimulate the local economy.”