Multi-Million Pound Maritime Hub To Boost Career Opportunities

Local News

A £10 million investment will be made into a North Yorkshire town to place it at the forefront of the expanding offshore renewable industries and help to boost job opportunities for the local community.

North Yorkshire Council are starting a pre-planning consultation on a new Whitby Maritime Hub, which will provide training and certification opportunities for the maritime, marine and offshore industries, to residents of Whitby and the wider area.

The funding for the project will come from the £17.1 million that was given to Whitby as part of the Government’s Town Deal scheme which awarded the town as well as Scarborough a total of £37.3 million in 2021.

Building on Whitby’s proud fishing and sailing heritage, the hub in Endeavour Wharf will address a local need to develop a better supply of technical abilities in the maritime sector and put the town at the forefront of the growing renewable energy sector.

Additionally, the hub will also provide accommodation for maritime businesses and service providers to further support economic growth in the Whitby area.

Executive member for open to business, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said: “This is a £10 million investment and we believe the hub will become a renowned centre of maritime training and enterprise which strengthens and supports the local seafaring sector.

“It will open the door to new economic and tourism growth for Whitby and Scarborough as well as the wider area and help to create the next generation of skilled apprentices and professions by providing first-class training and facilities for a range of maritime industries.

“Young people will have a route into highly-skilled maritime trades, like the growing offshore renewables sector, from on their doorstep without the need to travel out of the area.”

The hub has been designed to blend in with the existing views of the town.

Workshops on the hub’s ground and first floors will house the current and new wharf-based operations and functions of the Harbour Authority.

There will be space for classroom-based training, engineering workshops and marine biology laboratories, offering opportunities for training and employment in areas ranging from marine biology to emerging industries, such as off-shore wind.

The second floor will be an office space for marine-based start-up businesses and other maritime industries. The space is intended to be occupied by local, regional and national businesses and organisations, making Whitby a hub of maritime activity.

This will enable new and innovative commercial opportunities in the maritime and marine sectors to support growth in the local economy and reduce reliance on seasonal employment

The manager of Whitby Lobster Hatchery, Joe Redfern, said: “We still have a thriving fishing industry dependent on crab and lobster stocks.

“Bringing together different organisations all together under one roof in the maritime hub will provide an amazing opportunity for young people in Whitby to explore a career in these industries.”

The consultation is now open and will run for four weeks, closing on Friday, 9 February.

Cllr Neil Swannick, the member for the Whitby Streonshalh division on North Yorkshire Council, said: “The hub will give Whitby an economic boost and move the town away from a reliance on seasonal tourism and hospitality.

“The consultation is now open, and I would urge people to give us their feedback as we head to the planning application stage.”

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