Bright prospects for outer harbour

GREAT Yarmouth could lose out to businesses at Lowestoft in the race for jobs and investment in the lucrative wind energy sector.That was the warning this week from Great Yarmouth Port Users' Association, as it continues to raise concerns over the town's new �50m outer harbour.

GREAT Yarmouth could lose out to businesses at Lowestoft in the race for jobs and investment in the lucrative wind energy sector.

That was the warning this week from Great Yarmouth Port Users' Association, as it continues to raise concerns over the town's new �50m outer harbour.

Chairman Mike Gouldby said: “Over the last five years 60,000 new jobs have been created in Europe within the wind energy sector. “While we are delighted that our neighbours in Lowestoft appear to be realising a respectable share of this well-predicted bonanza, we remain disappointed that even with assistance of considerable public funding, as well as being given the existing river port, the now enhanced facility still appears to have failed to attract any significant new business.”

Mr Gouldby said he felt it was ironic that the privately-owned Associated British Ports, one of the main objectors to the provision of public funds in the construction of the outer harbour, was benefiting from increased volumes in general cargo as well as offshore energy-related sectors.


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“Other east coast ports are understood to be actively pursuing wind-related business - all of which will not only retain employment but create new jobs. These events suggest to us that the funding partners of the Yarmouth outer harbour are not obtaining the required value-for-money for the regenerative effects for which this project was created and funded.”

The Port Users' Association has stressed it wanted to establish a “meaningful dialogue” with outer harbour operator EastPort.

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Port users' representatives on Monday met with MP Tony Wright to discuss their concerns. However, Mr Gouldby said he was “extremely disappointed” that borough council managing director Richard Packham failed to attend the meeting.

Barry Stone, the council's deputy leader, said the council was concerned nobody from harbour operators EastPort had been invited to the meeting. He added: “We felt no meeting should take place with council officers at this stage without at least a representative of Eastport present.”

Mr Wright said: “It went okay. There were a lot of issues to be addressed. Some of the issues were taken on board and they will be followed up.”

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