Plans lodged for £10m flood resilient maritime hub

A £10m scheme for a new Maritime Hub in Whitby has taken a major step forward.

A planning application has been lodged with North Yorkshire Council for the development, which the authority is set to build in Endeavour Wharf if the proposals are approved.

The hub will provide training and certification opportunities for the maritime, marine and offshore industries, to residents of Whitby and the wider area.

Council chief executive, Richard Flinton, said: “Submitting the planning application is an exciting step forward for this project.

“The Maritime Hub will open doors to new economic growth in Whitby and help provide a route for young people into the maritime and marine industries.

“I encourage everyone in the community to look at the plans on our website and leave comments if they wish.”

Concerns about the hub being located on a flood plain have also been mitigated as the building will be designed to flood.

In the event of a flood, the ground floor units will allow water to enter, and all services will be raised above one metre. After water levels drop, the units would be easily washed out.

Corporate director of community development, Nic Harne, added: “We have listened to stakeholders and consultation feedback throughout the planning process before submitting this application.

“Endeavour Wharf will still retain around 200 parking spaces and the height of the Maritime Hub will match the surrounding buildings such as The Angel Hotel.

“We have received some suggestions that following Eskdale School’s merger with Caedmon College this summer, the school site would be a better location.

“But existing and potential future tenants of the wharf have stated they need direct access to the water and as such the school site would not be a suitable alternative.”

The project has been developed to address a local need to develop a better supply of technical abilities in the maritime sector and put the town at the forefront of the growing renewable energy sector.

The hub will also provide accommodation for maritime businesses and service providers.

Workshops on the hub’s ground and first floors will house the current and new wharf-based operations and functions of the Harbour Authority.

There will be classroom space, engineering workshops and marine biology laboratories, offering opportunities for training and employment in areas ranging from marine biology to off-shore wind.

The second floor will be an office space for marine-based start-up businesses and other maritime industries. The space is intended to be occupied by local, regional and national businesses and organisations, making Whitby a hub of maritime activity.

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