New dredger to safeguard port’s jobs and future

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 16 May 2017

IT PROVIDES jobs for hundreds of people, from skippers and processors to restaurant owners and exporters.

Established in 1837 as a Trust Port, Bridlington Harbour is today home to England’s biggest shellfish port and Europe’s leading lobster landing site.

With a multi-million-pound export market supplying crabs and lobsters locally, as well as to restaurants and hotels in France, Spain and Italy, the harbour forms an important part of East Yorkshire’s economy.

But without constant dredging, the harbour would silt up, preventing vessels from using the port and effecting the livelihoods of hundreds of people.

Bridlington Harbour Commissioners – the organisation responsible for the harbour’s upkeep and safety – have now completed the purchase of a new dredger, Gypsey Race, in a move designed to safeguard hundreds of jobs.

Chris Wright, chairman of Bridlington Harbour Commissioners, said: “The dredger we previously owned was beyond economic repair and so was taken out of service three years ago. The port in Bridlington does continually silt up so since then we’ve hired in a dredger at huge cost.”

The harbour provides direct employment for about 350 people, from shell fishermen and processors to restaurant owners and exporters, not forgetting the people who make and service equipment, such as boats and lobster pots. 

As all shellfish is caught locally, by local fishermen using equipment made and repaired in Bridlington, before being packaged and exported by East Yorkshire firms, the industry provides a massive boost to the town’s economy.

Funding for the new vessel was secured from Barclays.

Wright said: “The funding from Barclays has not only allowed us to purchase the new vessel but it will also save money and secure the future of the harbour for years to come.”

Kelvin Smith, relationship director for Barclays Business Banking, put together the funding package for the deal.

He said: “Bridlington Harbour Commissioners do a fantastic job looking after the harbour facilities and keeping the harbour open and safe for the local fishermen.

“I was delighted that we were able to provide a tailored facility for them, enabling them to complete the purchase of the dredger with stage payments and working to a timetable to suit their financial needs. 

“They are long-standing customers of Barclays and it’s a testament to their professional operation that we’re able to support them with funding for this crucial harbour operation.”  

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