UP to 500 new jobs could be created as ambitious new plans to expand Rye Wharf are unveiled.
The plans are being backed by Rye MP Amber Rudd.
If they go ahead they will secure the future of Rye Harbour as a working port and help regenerate the Rye area,
Rastrum Ltd, who run Rye Wharf, want to develop the area of land next to the Wharf, known as the Saltings.
Amber Rudd recently met with Rod Chapman from Rastrum and other interested parties to hear their plans to increase the capacity of the port.
The harbour is currently used to its maximum capacity, and the MP says anything up to 500 jobs could be created on what is effectively the only viable site for more employment in the east of the county.
Since the Environment Agency changed its policy on the future of Rye Harbour and recently invested in strengthening the harbour wall at a cost of £10 million, Rastrum has received a lot of interest from their clients.
Rastrum are proposing to apply for planning permission on the land and the plans need to be approved by Natural England.
Amber commented: “I strongly support Rastrum’s plans, as it would seem that all parties, including Natural England, can gain from this development.
“I have written to the Director of Land Use at Natural England requesting an early decision, stressing how many jobs could be created and highlighting the advantages for all parties”
Rastrum have been a driving force in bringing the wharf back to life. This has seen the return of big vessels carrying cargoes of road stone and other goods.
And new plans by the Environment Agency to widen the river mouth will allow huge 90 metre boats, weighing up to 4,000 tonnes to dock at the Wharf.
Rod said: “These vessels are able to travel to and from the Middle East rather than the European ships that currently dock.
Rod’s company, which has also established the Atlas Business Park at Rye Harbour, has helped provide 650 local jobs.
He said: “We recently gained planning permission for three new factory units at the Wharf.”