Multi-million pound investment in new Whitby Maritime Hub

A £10 million investment will be made in Whitby to place it at the forefront of the expanding offshore renewable industries and boost job opportunities for the local community.

The council has launched a pre-planning consultation on a new Whitby Maritime Hub, which will provide training and certification opportunities for the maritime, marine and offshore industries.

Funding will come from the £17.1 million given to Whitby under the Government’s Town Deal scheme which awarded the town and Scarborough a total of £37.3 million in 2021.

Whitby Maritime Hub by day

Whitby Maritime Hub by day

Executive member for open to business, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said: “This is a £10 million investment and we believe the hub will become a renowned centre of maritime training and enterprise which strengthens and supports the local seafaring sector.

“It will open the door to new economic and tourism growth for Whitby and Scarborough as well as the wider area and help to create the next generation of skilled apprentices and professions by providing first-class training and facilities for a range of maritime industries.

“Young people will have a route into highly-skilled maritime trades, like the growing offshore renewables sector, from on their doorstep without the need to travel out of the area.”

The hub has been designed to blend in with the existing views of the town. Workshops on the hub’s ground floor will house the current wharf operations of the Harbour Authority.

They will also have space for training and engineering courses, marine biology and expansion into emerging industries, such as offshore wind. The authority will also take over space on the building’s first floor.

A view of Whitby

Whitby Maritime hub from Eastside

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

This will enable new and innovative commercial opportunities in the maritime and marine sectors to support growth in the local economy and reduce reliance on seasonal workers.

The manager of Whitby Lobster Hatchery, Joe Redfern, said: “We still have a thriving fishing industry dependant on crab and lobster stocks.

“Bringing together different organisations all together under one roof in the maritime hub will provide an amazing opportunity for young people in Whitby to explore a career in these industries.”

Cllr Neil Swannick, the member for the Whitby Streonshalh division on North Yorkshire Council, added: “The hub will give Whitby an economic boost and move the town away from a reliance on seasonal tourism and hospitality.

“The consultation is now open, and I would urge people to give us their feedback as we head to the planning application stage.”

The consultation will close on Friday, 9 February. See details, including public events to showcase the plans.