Rye fishery could benefit from £90m fund

Mark Francois on the pier with the Hastings Pier Charity chief executive Simon Opie. Photo by Sid Saunders
Mark Francois on the pier with the Hastings Pier Charity chief executive Simon Opie. Photo by Sid Saunders

An extra £90m to support seaside communities was welcomed by a group hoping to use the money to regenerate Rye fisheries.

Rye Partnership plans on making an application to the coastal communities fund for a grant which would most likely be spent renovating the town’s fishing quarter.

Minister Mark Francois visits Hastings Pier and Source Park. Photo by Sid Saunders.

Minister Mark Francois visits Hastings Pier and Source Park. Photo by Sid Saunders.

Communities minister Mark Francois unveiled the new funding during a visit to Hastings on Monday (May 23).

The group’s board met on Thursday, May 19, to discuss the fund and potential application but developments are still in their infancy.

“The scope is to continue to review holding at Rye fisheries and Rye Peninsula but we are just starting with the consultation and have until the end of the month,” Rye Partnership chairman Keith Glazier said.

“But we’re very interested in the fund hopefully we will be successful.” The East Sussex County Council leader said the partnership has been ‘very successful’ over the years and ‘taken millions’ from various funds, including a grant for £180,000 about six years ago to refurbish the fisheries.

“So we have had success in the past and we hope to again in the future,” he added.

Since 2012, the government has invested £120m in seaside towns and cities and Rother District Council previously made a bid to the coastal revival fund with the support of Rye Partnership last year.

That application had aspirations including the upgrade of moorings, a boat lifting and dry dock facility, renovation of the fish processing unit and the establishment of a fishing heritage centre, as well as ten affordable homes on the peninsula.

Mr Francois was given a tour of the newly-redeveloped Hastings Pier and The Source skate park during his visit, both of which have benefitted from the fund. He said the fund had done good work and hoped coastal communities all over the country would benefit.

“I think the really good thing is the government found £120m in difficult economic times for the initial rounds of coastal communities funding, and because we’ve seen the good work it can do, including down here in Hastings, we decided to commit a further £90m over the next four years going forward,” he said.

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