Report backs port's future

PUBLISHED: 15:01 29 September 2006 | UPDATED: 19:49 01 June 2010

Wisbech Port

Wisbech Port

WISBECH Port will remain open – even though it is running at a loss, a review has stated. A report was ordered last year and a team was set up following concerns about the financial performance of the port and its services. Figures in the report show the

WISBECH Port will remain open - even though it is running at a loss, a review has stated.

A report was ordered last year and a team was set up following concerns about the financial performance of the port and its services.

Figures in the report show the port's deficit for 2004/05 was £453,200, with an operating deficit of £242,977.

Now, following months of research, the report concludes that Fenland District Council, which acts as the Harbour Authority, will keep the port open but seek help from neighbours at South Holland District Council and ask if that council is willing to join a partnership. If this fails, the authority may look to put up charges for ships using the port.

The harbour authority will also look into working towards developing a full trust status, which would release Fenland District Council of its duty and liability as the statutory harbour authority.

The review also looked into whether closure of the port was an option. However, it concluded: "The port in Wisbech remains in council ownership and a commitment is confirmed to allow it to develop as a port.

"Without such commitment, no security of tenure for the port operator is possible, resulting in an inability on its part to commit and invest."

The port development board will also compile a business plan.

The future of the yacht harbour may also change - the council will look to see if there is any interest for new management to take over its running.

The review also recommends that steps be taken to attract further business to the port and to raise its profile.

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