The regeneration of Newhaven has been given a massive boost with today's announcement of £12.68 million from the Government's Levelling Up Fund.
Lewes District Council successfully bid for the money which will help re-establish the town as a maritime centre of excellence and ensure Newhaven's fishing industry receives the immediate support it needs.
The council's scheme "Capturing the Value of the Catch" will:
- Provide two new fish landing stages to accommodate 16 small vessels from the Newhaven fishing fleet
- Build a new Centre of Excellence for seafood processing in the town including an auction room and marketplace
- Create a new restaurant and community destination on the promenade area by West Beach to retain spending in Newhaven for longer and stimulate a local market for fish.
Councillor James MacCleary, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Prosperity, and local councillor for Newhaven, said: "I am delighted that our town is finally getting some of the funding it needs after years of neglect. Our local fishing fleet here in the town is a key part of our community and has been let down too often. The British fishing industry is on its knees with fishing boats going out of business around the country. That is why this council has worked with partners to prioritise Newhaven fishing.
"As a local resident, I can't wait to see our waterfront revitalised and further investment building on the work we've been doing with the port to bring the promenade area behind the West Beach back to life.
"My thanks to everyone involved in putting this fantastic bid together, creating yet another exciting project for Newhaven and more investment in the town following our Town Deal and Future High Streets successes. With their different focuses, these three schemes will integrate perfectly and bring huge benefits for people living and working in Newhaven, as well as visitors."
Chris Ketley, Chair of Newhaven Town Deal Board, gave his support to "Capturing the Value of the Catch" saying it "includes a desire to make the most of our town's maritime heritage and re-establish Newhaven's role as a thriving and vital southern gateway to the UK."
Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes, said: "Since being elected I have been working hard with the fishing community to improve the fishing infrastructure not just with their boats but also with fish processing to help them develop and grow their businesses. It is really important to me that with all the Government investment going into the town that the fishing community are not forgotten and having the ability to land more fish and then sell it at a local fish restaurant on the West Beach will be an incredible win for the town."
Graham Peters, of Newhaven Enterprise Zone, added: "Capturing the Value of the Catch" accords fully with the ambitions of the Newhaven Enterprise Zone. This project will enable Newhaven to build upon our recent successes, creating new employment and learning opportunities whilst promoting its dynamic industries."