Thursday, 2 October 2008

Councillor's Net Cash


TEIGNMOUTH’s two County Councillors, Chris Bray and David Cox have netted a massive £450 000 cash boost for plans to regenerate the Teign’s fishing and mariculture industries, including a new Fish Quay, Fishrmen’s stores and ice plant. The scheme is a partnership between the County Councillors, Teignbridge District Council and Teign Fishermen and Watermen’s Association (TFWA).The money has been secured through a Devon County Council fund set up to distribute the proceeds of the sale of Exeter Airport, and looks set to benefit the whole Teignmouth and Shaldon area and its fishing industry. David Cox and Chris Bray had to give a presentation and face tough questioning to ensure the scheme met the criteria and to convince the funding committee the scheme was viable.Devon County Council leader Cllr Brian Greenslade said “This was a large amount of money to ask for, with a very ambitious scheme, so the committee looked very carefully at all the aspects; however Chris and David put a very well argued case, showing they had a strong partnership to deliver the project.”The estimated project cost is £1.8 million and Devon County Council has committed the £450 000 on the proviso that a 50% contribution can be secured from EU Fisheries funds with the remainder coming from local match funding and other grant opportunities.David Wilson, captain of Teignmouth trawler Propitious and member of the Teign Fishermen and Watermen’s Association, said: “It is good to see a little bit of light in such dark days for the fishing industry.”Teign Fishermen’s vice-chairman, Barry Wilson and County Councillors Chris Bray and David Cox have been working with TeignbridgeDistrict Councils Economic Development team to bring the project forward. The South West Regional Development Agency has ploughed £10,000 towards a Feasibility study into the scheme, with some additional DCC funding from Councillors Bray and Cox and in-kind support from Teignbridge. The report is due out in the autumn.Cllr Cox said: “We are really pleased we have been able to secure this funding. It will now allow us to draw down match funding from the EU to build a new fish quay, leading to the regeneration of the fishing industry. There will also be have positive knock-on effects for the leisure and catering industry in the town. It’s also a good example of how the County Council is using money to empower councillors to make a real difference to the communities they represent.” Cllr Bray added: “This will provide half of the match funding we need to make a strong bid to get a grant from the EU Fisheries Fund. Other agencies will see that we are serious about improving the facilities for fishermen in Teignmouth.”

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