Friday, August 4, 2017

As Brexit Gets Underway the Smaller Freight and Ferry Ports Prepare for Changes

Negotiations Will Impact on Whole Communities
Shipping News Feature
UK– Brexit is likely to remain the major topic in the country for the next few years and the outcome of negotiations will have a major impact on the lives and businesses in all communities. None are likely to be more affected than the key points of import and export trade and, of these, the smaller ports around Britain which handle both specialist ferry services and general freight and passenger traffic are likely to feel the results of the discussions and changes more than most.

Such an example is Poole in Dorset, whilst not a major deep water port Poole Harbour and surrounds hold a microcosm of the trades around the UK with everything from an intercontinental ferry service to world famous names in boat and luxury yacht building. Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) recently received a special Parliamentary visit to the Port of Poole South Quay harbour expansion from Robin Walker, Minister for the Department for Exiting the European Union.

The Worcester MP met with Jim Stewart, CEO Poole Harbour Commissioners, along with representatives from the fisheries, tourism and shipping sectors in Poole. The PHC is working forward having published a Master Plan designed to assure the future of the port. Discussions were held about the challenges and opportunities arising from Brexit as part of the Government's commitment to engage with people across the country on the EU exit. Jim Stewart, CEO of Poole Harbour Commissioners said:

“It was a pleasure to meet the Minister. We engaged in a fruitful and constructive dialogue on a range of issues relating to Brexit. We were also able to show the Minister the excellent progress that we are making on the construction of our new South Quay. Work is well underway on the new 200 metre long deep water quay. The £10 million project will be completed by the December 2017, and will ensure that the Port remains competitive with facilities that can accommodate a much wider range of shipping and marine activities.”

Following the meeting, the Minister was accompanied by Jim Stewart and Tommy Russell, Chairman for Poole and District Fishermen's Association to the Port of Poole Marina and boarded a fishing boat moored in the marina. UK Government Minister for Exiting the EU, Robin Walker, said:

“I was very pleased to visit Poole Harbour and meet representatives from many of the region’s key sectors, including tourism, fishing and shipping. These sectors are the beating heart of this region’s economy and make a significant contribution to the UK economy as a whole. These constructive discussions will help us ensure we embrace the significant opportunities our EU exit presents and fully address the challenges it poses to different parts of the country.”

The full Poole Harbour Master Plan can be downloaded here.