Sheringham fishing hub set for £125,000 makeover

Sheringham's west gangway.

Sheringham's west gangway. - Credit: Archant

A key area of Sheringham seafront is set for a £125,000 makeover.

The west gangway, a working hub for fishermen and a tourist honeypot, is poised to have the money spent on it as part of the North Norfolk Flag project, aimed at supporting the future of the local fishing industry.

The gangway is used by 15 members of the Sheringham Fishermen's Association who operate their boats from it.

Their activities are popular with tourists who pause on the bridge over the gangway to watch catches landed and boats come and go.

Association members have invested in facilities at the gangway over the years but say underground springs are breaking through the concrete ramp, causing it to deteriorate.

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They have applied for Flag - Fisheries Local Action Group - funding to provide a new reinforced concrete ramp, new drainage, upgraded electricity services and new security lighting, a new winch and winch house, and a small cold-storage facility.

North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC) cabinet is set to approve a £40,000 contribution towards the cost at its meeting on Monday . The cash would be taken from the £1.1m proceeds of selling the Lockerbie flats site in Sheringham to Tesco for its new store.

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'We want to reinvest this money in Sheringham,' said Tom FitzPatrick, NNDC leader.

'As well as helping the fishing community, this will also help the tourism aspect because people like to wander along and look at the boats.'

The rest of the cash would come via Flag which makes use of a potential £2.4m available for north Norfolk projects through the European Fisheries Fund.

NNDC successfully led the bid to secure the cash in September 2011. So far it has been used to pay for projects worth about £600,000 with a further £1.3m-worth awaiting a decision by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) which must also give its approval to the Sheringham gangway revamp.

Flag-funded projects include a Prince's Trust course which helped young people learn about careers in the fishing industry, and the provision of more than 40 lifesaving locater beacons for fishermen.

The Flag scheme was due to end in December but nationwide delays by the MMO in deciding applications has led to it being extended until March with indications that it might be further extended to June 30.

'I think Flag has generally been regarded as good for the fishing community and related industries' said Mr FitzPatrick. 'It's not just about keeping things as they are, it's about future-proofing the industry.'

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