THE new fishing quay building at Sovereign Harbour is progressing well – and is only ‘a few weeks from its April finish.’

It’s going to be a major boost for Eastbourne and the harbour itself.

Project managers are Gradient Consultants, and here is their Associate Director: Duncan Tibbitts “I visited the site to check on progress. 

SUNNINGHILL CONSTRUCTION CO. LIMITED are going really well and currently on programme to finish on time.

The works currently ongoing are internal fitout, cladding installation and the fitting of external doors and shutters.”

The project is the brainchild of Eastbourne fisherman Graham Doswell, whose family has been fishing off the town’s coast for three generations, and the Eastbourne Fishermen’s Community Interest Company (CIC) set up to build the development which they say will be at the heart of the community as well as a major boost to the local fishing industry and economy.

There will be a fish processing plant selling fresh fish to the public, net stores and a Visitors’ Centre – all built on the quayside close to the Harvester.

The Fisherman’s Quay will be a vibrant, multi-purpose destination which combines a sustainable fishing industry for the local area with a heritage visitor destination. Delivery of the Fisherman’s Quay will maximise the local economic benefits arising from the fishing activity, through transforming an uneven, open yard into a resilient and productive community asset.

The site is currently used for the open-air landing and preparation of fish and shellfish by Eastbourne’s inshore static gear fishing fleet. Fish are caught, landed and sold on the same day, exposing local fishermen to short-term swings in supply and demand.

The current open-air arrangement presents a risk to the public, who are not allowed on the site, as well as to the fisherman themselves. The project aims to improve working conditions through the provision of on-site toilets and access to running water. In addition, the project seeks to provide storage facilities for the fleet’s fishing equipment which will both improve safety on the site and help safeguard the condition of this equipment.