THE future of Whitby’s fish market has been saved, the Whitby Gazette can exclusively reveal.
A new company has been formed to take over the running of the market and it is hoped it can step in, once Alliance Fish vacate the premises next Friday.
It will be called Whitby Fish Sales Ltd and will continue to hold regular auctions of fish – keeping the Whitby fish brand alive – as well as providing an important service to the town’s fishermen.
Managing director Shaun Wood who owns TG Wood, one of the biggest fish merchants in Scarborough with a £1.5m annual turnover, has signed a lease indefinitely with SBC after six weeks of talks, to run the market.
He said his aim is to ensure the market is viable and he will invest tens of thousands of pounds to make it happen including hiring an ice machine for use on the quay.
Mr Wood (41), who said he loves Whitby and has strong connections with the area as he has family here, said: “Whitby has helped in making this company successful over many years – now it’s time to help back and to put its money where its mouth is.
“Our aim is to serve the local fishermen with all of their needs. At first there may be a few difficult weeks ahead.
“It has to be viable. I’m not in it for making any money. I just want it to succeed.
“I’m delighted with the Whitby Gazette’s support of the local industry in its Fight For Our Fleet Campaign. We are all in it together.”
The firm will employ an existing member of staff from Alliance, who will carry out the day to day running of the business in Whitby.
Mr Wood has applied to get a temporary licence to auction fish from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and is hopeful this can be achieved by 28 May.
SBC were unable to comment at this stage on the negotiations.
More reaction in Tuesday’s Gazette.
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