Marina cash ‘will not’ be switched to pavilion

Peter Clery - founder of Port Sutton Bridge and chairman of the town's Curlew Centre
Peter Clery - founder of Port Sutton Bridge and chairman of the town's Curlew Centre
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THE founder of Port Sutton Bridge is calling on the district council to switch funds for a proposed marina to a multi-sports pavilion.

But council portfolio holder for economic development Howard Johnson says there will be no U-turn on the marina cash unless the project is abandoned – and then the cash can go to other things.

Peter Clery, who is chairman of the Curlew Centre at Sutton Bridge, says £250,000 was originally earmarked by the district council for the marina from the Sutton Bridge Development Fund – Section 106 power station money – but that was then upped by £150,000.

He said: “It is unclear how the people of Sutton Bridge will benefit from this expenditure and the financial feasibility of the project does not seem to have been rigorously tested.

“Has a proper business plan been produced? The parish council has not seen one.

“Now we have a community centre, the next need is for a multi-sports pavilion which could be used throughout the year by many people. The marina would only be used in the summer months by those wealthy enough to afford a boat and the mooring fees.

“It seems likely that only two to three jobs would be created directly, the indirect job creation is far from clear and it is not obvious that money will be spent in Sutton Bridge by the boat owners. Can we please have a re-think on the allocation of the remaining S106 money and have at least £150,000 allocated to the parish council for a multi-sports pavilion?”

Mr Clery says the total cost of the marina is estimated at more than £800,000.

Coun Johnson said the marina project is being managed by the county council and the Section 106 money allocated by the district council will remain in the pot for the time being.

He said: “We are not going to de-allocate on a whim. That would be a completely ridiculous thing to do.

“If the project goes ahead, then the money will remain with the marina.

“If the project does not go ahead, then £400,000 will come back into the pot and the residents of Sutton Bridge can put in a request that the money be allocated to a sports centre.”

Council economic development manager Mark Stanton said no figures on the marina funding are being released at this stage.