Wednesday, 29 July 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Harbours and Piers
249. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the funding provided in the July stimulus package for the development of the middle pier in Howth, Dublin; the details of the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19493/20]
Howth Fishery Harbour Centre (FHC) is one of six FHCs owned, operated and maintained by my Department under statute. The other five are located at Castletownbere, Dingle, Dunmore East, Killybegs and Ros An Mhíl.
The FHCs are strategically important infrastructure which underpin the Government's Strategy to further develop a modern offshore Irish fishing fleet, attract the large offshore fishing vessels of other Member States to increasingly land into our Fishery Harbour Centres and drive the development of a modern on shore processing industry. To provide for the necessary safety, maintenance and ongoing development of the six Fishery Harbour Centres, the Department carries out capital works, the main objective being to safeguard the future viability of the fishing industry and to bring the FHCs up to international best practice.
The Howth Middle pier redevelopment project is fully permitted and a tender competition to procure a works contractor has been completed. This project will provide an additional berthing space of 134m on the Middle Pier in Howth. 1,600m2 of working space for fishermen will also be provided to the rear of the new pier for net repair and servicing of fishing vessels.
The project is aligned with the overall Department strategy to separate heavy fishing activity and industrial type work from leisure activity insofar as possible and ensure the health and safety of all users of the Fishery Harbour Centre.
The additional capital injection under the July stimulus package is crucial to provide much needed investment for the future of the seafood sector.
The €6m development project on the Middle Pier in Howth will take 12–14 months to complete. While it is anticipated that over 50 construction workers will be directly employed on the project, the knock-on benefit to the local supply chain will be greater. Once complete, the better berthing facilities will encourage increased fishing activity and as the heavier industrial type work will now be concentrated on the Middle Pier, leisure activity on the West Pier will be further facilitated generating additional employment opportunities.