FENLAND: Wisbech Port sees dramatic fall off because of credit crunch but still cause for optimism

COMMERCIAL traffic at Wisbech Port has seen a dramatic fall off because of the credit crunch. New figures show that to the end of December only 31 ships used the port compared to the 52 that the district council, who run the site, had forecast. This is a

COMMERCIAL traffic at Wisbech Port has seen a dramatic fall off because of the credit crunch.

New figures show that to the end of December only 31 ships used the port compared to the 52 that the district council, who run the site, had forecast.

"This is a reflection of the reduction in timber business which in the main is building industry related," said Councillor Alan Melton, portfolio holder for economic and business development.

At Port Sutton Bridge, where the council is responsible for management, the end of year number of ships totalled 204 against a target of 213.


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"Inquiries remain strong and most notably the prospect of Sutton Bridge being the offshore wind farm maintenance base is a strong possibility" said Cllr Melton.

"The credit crunch is starting to affect imports of, in particular, steel for the UK car industry which is reducing actual shipping movements in Sutton Bridge."

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However Cllr Melton says the council's expanding yacht harbour at Wisbech is proving a hit and inquiries "remain buoyant including those for winter storage and for the Crab Marsh boat yard".

And he said seven firms had already signed up for the council's new Boathouse business complex alongside the River Nene at Wisbech and 14 new jobs had been created.

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