Factory relocation will clear fort view

REGENERATION plans for North Shields Fish Quay have been given a £46,000 boost by the European Fisheries Fund.

The money is being paid out to fish-processing company Frank Round to help fund its relocation from Clifford’s Fort Moat to bigger premises.

The move means the firm’s current factory can be knocked down, bringing the historic fort building back into public view.

The remains of the fort, included on English Heritage’s at-risk register, are concealed behind fish-processing buildings, including the Frank Round factory earmarked for demolition.

Clifford’s Fort, on the eastern side of the quay, dates back to 1676, making it one of the earliest surviving coastal batteries in Britain.

The move into larger premises, owned by North Tyneside Council, will enable the company to expand as it will be able to fulfil orders it had previously had to turn down because it did not have capacity to fulfill them.

The move is expected to create two new jobs, taking the company’s workforce to 14.

Graeme Pickup, of Frank Round, said: “We’re proud to use locally-landed fish and to be based on North Shields Fish Quay.

“Although we’ve owned our factory for a number of years, it wasn’t really ideal for us, and we’d been considering moving.

“We’re grateful for the council’s support in leasing us the new facility and particularly for the European Fisheries Fund funding. Without that, it would have been very difficult for us to do the move.

“We’re really looking forward into moving into our new purpose-equipped facility.

“It’s nice to know that the public will benefit too and will eventually get to see more of the old fort.”

Work to fit out the firm’s new factory is due to be completed next month.

It will cost around £114,148, with £45,658 of that being accounted for by the European grant.

North Tyneside mayor Linda Arkley said: “The historic fish quay is a major heritage asset, and we are pleased to support this relocation, which is another key step in the regeneration of this area and helps an important local business to continue to develop.”

The handout to Frank Round follows a £60,000 grant paid out last year to fund fellow fish quay business Larry’s Fishcakes relocation from Clifford Street to a council-owned unit in Prospect Terrace.

Catherine Murphy, a programme manager for the fisheries fund, said: “We have supported the redevelopment of the western quay in North Shields through £2m of funding, and I’m pleased we are able to extend support to local businesses too.”