The man at the helm of Great Yarmouth’s outer harbour has urged those that have questioned the controversial project to get behind it as it faces a tough future.

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Jamie Frater, chief executive of Great Yarmouth Port Company – whose trading name is East Port UK - said doubters of the £80m scheme should be helping it succeed, rather than questioning it.

Mr Frater, who took on the top job last May, spoke about his determination to drive the port forward at a speakers event organised by Great Yarmouth’s branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.

Speaking at Friday’s event he acknowledged there were “a lot of sceptics” but said East Port was “trying extremely hard to prove to the community” the worth of the investment made in the port.

He added: “I know everybody’s got a focus and (will be) watching closely what I’m doing.

“We’re working very well now with the local community, we have regular meetings so that we share things as a port community should do.

“What we should be doing - instead of news articles in the media - is helping each other to drive the success of Yarmouth port.”

Mr Frater admitted that he did not a see a future for the port in the container business and said roll on roll off ferries could be a possibility “one day” but its strengths lay in offshore energy, and manufacturers, developers and construction contacts had shown “significant interest” in Yarmouth.

He said: “What we do see is what we have done well in Yarmouth and that’s support the offshore industry.

“We’ve spent £10m this year, despite economical constraints, on improving the outer harbour, reducing the entrance so that it’s better placed for offshore wind farm and larger vessels that need calmer sea conditions.”

But he said “unfortunately” with time scale for the development of wind farms standing at two to three years, he now faced the hurdle of filling this difficult gap.

“The challenge is what do we do between now and then,” he added. “We have to get out there.

“The emphasis going forward is don’t spent too much time in the office worrying about the business, let’s get out and get the business. In the longer term I see a great future for Great Yarmouth.”

One area he is now looking to target is rig refurbishment, and said a value of up to £3m could be earned by the community while a rig is docked in the town.

24 comments

  • Does that mean he will be going cap in hand and asking for more money from the borough council. Just stop the bull.. the outer harbour is not going to work.. hand the road back to highways so at least the people can drive round and see just how incompetent the council and these developers have been.. Infact why don't we have a department within the council inviting companies to the town to rip us off.. we all know the list!!

    Report this comment

    marshall

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • Let's face it... It's the wrong thing, in the wrong place, at the wrong time... To stop excepting containers was a mistake.. It should expand its use to anything it can get it's hands on and be used for ... Small or larger .. Maybe a weekly summer weekend car and passenger ferry to Europe .. If the high paid management team running the port are up to the task it will grow and produce many jobs... If they cannot achieve their target it then they will be a failure... The team are good enough or they are not....So those involved stop naffing about and let Great Yarmouth see what you are actually made of ... So little to show for so much money and time spent... Maybe it's an admission of failure...?... Yet to be announced....?

    Report this comment

    Lionel

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • The Outer harbour was built 30 years too late. The discussions when it was first mooted seem to continue to dominate the usual critic’s comments. As a high volume Container port the Outer Harbour was always going to be a non-starter, just visit a modern port to see why. Some of the things said and proposed when trying to get this project started were never going to work and showed how little the people involved knew about modern ports but at least it got built. The way forward is the niche market loads that don’t fit in ISO Containers, Rig maintenancerepair and in the immediate future “Offshore supply” but for that to happen the berthing fee’s must be lowered especially when the ships only tie up for a short time. Look at the positives it’s a deep water port with plenty of storage space in an area with plenty of skilled workers. With the right marketing it has a bright future.

    Report this comment

    Tony

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • Tom Jefferies What Mt JL Cooper is saying what the People were told and what they have now plus it looks like some people had their fingers in the Pie and it was the residents of Great Yarmout & surrounding areas that have been ripped off and Mr Cooper wants explanations and justification for all.

    Report this comment

    Dave

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • So the new company line from the new company face of Eastport is ....".... Mr Frater admitted that he did not a see a future for the port in the container business and said roll on roll off ferries could be a possibility “one day” ...." Well okay the business plan that attracted the public cash was built around these two visions of the future. Whilst always having been behind the concept rather than the execution. More credibility and backing from me if you now open the access roads that are not needed for customs and exercise secure areas.

    Report this comment

    The Lone Gunman

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • How is a container business going to be a possibility one day? There are no rail connections to the port for a start and has Mr Frater looked at the state of the A47 lately. The only saving grace is that we don`t have containers lorries trundling up and down it each day or it would be in a far worse state that it is at the moment. Time GYPC faced up to reality and came clean. The Outer Harbour has been a monumental disaster. I should think it is only the inner harbour that is in profit.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • So who should run the port instead? We seem to have an awful lot of armchair port experts around. Who also seem to be financial and engineering experts as well. I notice Mr Cooper is sprouting the same made-up "facts" as usual. Outer harbour paid for by the ratepayers? And how exactly does the idea of removing the quay walls help the port prosper? You then have no quays to service vessels from. Amazing how everyone knows better than the port company about how to run a port.

    Report this comment

    Tea&Biscuits

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • Good to see some positive responses to counter the likes of John Cooper's inane mutterings. Someone I know who attended the Scrutiny committee he refers below, told me that Mr Cooper spoke a lot, but the more he spoke the less sense he made. Having read his repeated ramblings in these pages, and in the Mercury, I'm not surprised. I almost feel like taking time off work to watch him perform at the MMO enquiry. I, and many others simply cannot fathom what he is trying to achieve. The only saving grace is that no one else is interested, and thankfully, anyone considering investing in the area will pay no attention either.

    Report this comment

    Tom Jeffries

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • I seem to have overlooked the odd shipping company I own which would enable me to " get behind" the Outer Harbour. Presumably this chap means he wants us to stop questioning the commissioning execution and running of a project which was meant to revitalise GY and to provide employment but which seems to have been a catalogue of donkey trading and missed targets. The reason Norfolk Line -Maersk went to Felixstowe was in part the improvements to the A14 route -something which was down to government funding. NCC or GYBC do not have the responsibility for upgrading the A47 and it was always obvious the government would not do it. So an outer harbour for RORO was never going to work. Why doesnt someone ask the obvious question-was it always covertly intended as a government-tax payer subsidised facility for windfarm operators? If so it must always have been known that the long term jobs created at the harbour would not be in large numbers and the town has been cheated. Surely the time when we needed a better harbour, when we were really at the centre of some serious offshore work had long gone ?

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • Sept 19th 2012 EDP - Eliza O’Toole, vice chairman of Great Yarmouth Port Company (GYPC), said though commercial confidentiality agreements can be “frustrating” there is genuine movement behind the scenes. She told the meeting: “In the next few months we will be able to make some announcements to put people out of their misery about the success of the outer harbour.” Yet again it would appear GYPC are stalling for time. There is no good news. There are no contracts. Just excuse after excuse. It`s high time we asked for our money back.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • Its all very well talking about the disaster, but the town has not got the infrastructure to support it, thanks to the useless, self serving, career polititicians we have had_got. No infrastructure, no harbour, thats why Norfolk Line moved out. The council of the time refused to ionvest in infrastructure and the Port & Haven comissioners (all self serving rubbish), refused to dredge the harbour to allow deeper hulled vessels into the harbour. Yes, I know about the harbour bend but the vessels would have been able to take the bend easily. I notice that the present Labour council are very quiet on this fiasco though !.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • Now why on earth would I back a load of lies! Was always taught never to believe lies! So called Ferries,so called Jobs where did that all go..no sorry I will be walking in other direction..!

    Report this comment

    lisa sharp

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • Let's face it... It's the wrong thing, in the wrong place, at the wrong time... To stop excepting containers was a mistake.. It should expand its use to anything it can get it's hands on and be used for ... Small or larger .. Maybe a weekly summer weekend car and passenger ferry to Europe .. If the high paid management team running the port are up to the task it will grow and produce many jobs... If they cannot achieve their target it then they will be a failure... The team are good enough or they are not....So those involved stop naffing about and let Great Yarmouth see what you are actually made of ... So little to show for so much money and time spent... Maybe it's an admission of failure...?... Yet to be announced....?

    Report this comment

    Lionel

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • Yarmouth has needed to update it's port for many years! Anyone with any knowledge could tell you that. We have a modern new deeper water facility now with great potential. Had it not been constructed then the place as a commercial enterprise would be completely finished. It is also no surprise to anyone in the Maritime industry that the cyclical nature of shipping means it's easy to 'miss the boat' This is what happened before when locals ignored A. P Moller's request for suitable RoRo Max capability for his ferry service. Port infrastructure is long lived and the fact that the potential is not fully realised now after one of the biggest slumps in history is not surprising. The new harbour is a brilliant asset to GY.

    Report this comment

    Nick

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • Lend a hand and get behind what exactly. I have shovel I could help fill it in...At best this saga was always heading toward sticky end, maybe a yacht marina and executive housing development. We the people and the "planning people" could lend a hand support better conenctivity. HS2 arrives in GY somehow I doubt it but the town could ready itself by clearing off the south denes completley and create access paths from the A47 and A11.

    Report this comment

    Paul Morley

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • What is peoples fascination with the road through the outer harbour? I see many people demand it reopened. Doesn't it just link up with South Denes Road at the harbour mouth? If so you can get to each side of the outer harbour already by different route. What do people gain by having the road reopened?

    Report this comment

    Tea&Biscuits

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • At the February 2011 NCC Scrutiny, I stated that GYPC had no road map, GYBC refuted this, but look at the facts. June 2006 A Ro-Ro Ferry Service, (too many conditions). 2010 Containers, (failure too much swell). Wind Turbines 2011 (quays not strong enough too much swell) July 2012 Future Offshore July 2012 No Future in Ferries July 2012 A future in Containers January 2013 “Wind farms are the future (as far as the outer harbour is concerned) but that’s 2-3 years away from now.” January 2013 “We will be ready for de-commissioning but again that won’t happen quickly because the oil and gas companies are finding new ways to keep fields going. January “My challenge is to win business and I’m looking at rig refurbishment.” Does this list of “let’s try something else” really look as though the Port knows its way? As for the £10 million on narrowing the harbour entrance, I feel sorry for Mr. Frater he inherited a mess made by ignorance of others. If they had built the harbour as paid for by Ratepayers and ignoring the safety measures then he like his predecessor Eddie Freeman would not have had so many problems. If you want to build a house you don’t go to a violinist. We had bankers building our port they looked at the shingle spending beach that reduced swell, kicked it into touch and put in 300 mts of sheet pile then wondered why they had a built in hazard. Get rid of the sheet pile Jamie problem solved.

    Report this comment

    John L Cooper

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • No wallywalnut You write to the Marine Management Organisation (on line) and lodge your Objection at the coming Public Inquiry for the GYPC not to run the Port of Gt. Yarmouth

    Report this comment

    John L Cooper

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • The Outer harbour was built 30 years too late. The discussions when it was first mooted seem to continue to dominate the usual critic’s comments. As a high volume Container port the Outer Harbour was always going to be a non-starter, just visit a modern port to see why. Some of the things said and proposed when trying to get this project started were never going to work and showed how little the people involved knew about modern ports but at least it got built. The way forward is the niche market loads that don’t fit in ISO Containers, Rig maintenancerepair and in the immediate future “Offshore supply” but for that to happen the berthing fee’s must be lowered especially when the ships only tie up for a short time. Look at the positives it’s a deep water port with plenty of storage space in an area with plenty of skilled workers. With the right marketing it has a bright future.

    Report this comment

    Tony

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • OK - BG and John L Cooper - you are both spot on! But what do we do now - the disillusioned ripped-off tax payers who see this and other rubbish schemes and developments supported by our councillors and now can't even drive round by the harbour mouth. Do we form a non-political group and get ourselves voted in to run the town?

    Report this comment

    wallywalnut

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • The old Harbour will never be suitable for modern shipping. The new harbour is. Shipping companies work on purely commercial lines. It is one of the most intensely competitive industries in the world. Costs of sea transport however are much less than road transport and in the New Harbour we have huge potential for a number of different types of operations. Investment in this kind of infrastructure is very important. It would have been brilliant had we managed to lobby successfully for a third river crossing and a better road link. You also have to understand the sheer scale of the present round three offshore wind-farm agreements. Here there are several Billion pounds of investment spanning over 20 years. Already shipping companies have invested heavily into this as can be seen by some of the latest specialised tonnage being seen in the outer harbour. Other local companies such as Alicat and supply companies such as Atlas are already reaping the benefit. We must also not forget that there are quite a few people in the borough who are still employed on ships and still have the specialist skills to operate such vessels. Put all that together with the many more folk who have the skills to support the service of such an operation. I cannot believe that some of us locals are still so inward and backward looking.

    Report this comment

    Nick

    Monday, January 28, 2013

  • One of the other problems here is that there is conflict in the county on where any central government investment money should be spent. NCC have already spent taxpayers money on buying the old RAF airfield at Coltishall and are about to invest even more money on the NDR (road to nowhere) and 10,000 houses in the North East Growth Triangle where there is no employment. They need to wise up and invest in the A47 link to the A11 and A14 in order to provide proper links to Great Yarmouth harbour which will attract employment opportunities and then justify new homes. Leave the food producing land to do just that ie produce the food we need. Vote out the ruling group at county hall and vote for Independents who know what they are doing and not playing politics with our money.

    Report this comment

    SNUB

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • The road was closed off, and to hide it so the public could not see what a failure the outer disaster is. “unfortunately” with time scale for the development of wind farms standing at two to three years, he now faced the hurdle of filling this difficult gap." Is this the good news 'O' Toole was talking about ?.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • Either Jamie Frater or Ms. Eliza O’Toole made a statement on the year’s vessels using the outer harbour. But I fear their figures are as fictitious as their glorious future the port has for us all. In 2012 GYPC had 355 vessels in the Outer Harbour, the number must include pilot boats as the 12 month figure was actually:- • Vessels actually finance producing 175 • Tugs that brought the finance producing ships in 104 279 This 76 shortage must be every time a Pilot Boat enters the outer harbour is counted in their 355 total. How is it possible that I say such a lower number than Jamie Frater and Eliza O’Toole. Well my figures come from their own web-site, throughout the year the Port’s web-site shows all ships movements, these do not show 355 ships using the outer harbour so where does his 355 come from. As for our very part time MP stating the Outer Harbour is an asset, since he arrived on the scene he has been asked to sort out for the electorate why we end up with something that bears no resemblance to what the GRANTS were paid for. How can he say its and asset when it has produced no JOBS, or no financial advantage for the Borough, but has paid several millions to its remote shareholders. This is what you get when Bankers think they are Mariners, do you go to undertakers to manage a wedding Nick, so why do you think Venture Capitalists can run a port?

    Report this comment

    John L Cooper

    Friday, February 1, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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