Welcome grant for Rye Fisheries


There was good news for Rye and its fisheries at the recent meeting of Rother District Council’s cabinet (March 27). Councillors decided to allocate £170,000 towards the Rye Fisheries project in conjunction with Chapmans the fish wholesaler. The money comes from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, sourced from central government funds.

The grant will be matched by Chapmans and will be used to set up a kitchen space within the fisheries building. The kitchen will make quality stocks for sale to the restaurant market and smaller quantities to be sold locally. Chapmans already sell fish direct to the public from the fisheries building. That has created three new jobs, two of which have gone to local Rye people. There is also a project to work with schools to promote better understanding of small boat fishing compared to other, more environmentally destructive fishing practices. It is also hoped to encourage the consumption of local, seasonal fish.

This is all part of a new business model made necessary because of changes in the industry since January 2020. Before that, 95% of the fish landed at Rye was exported to France or Belgium (where better prices could be obtained for a wider range of species) at a cost of £200 per export. This has risen to £1,500 per export with greatly increased amounts of documentation and certification. Profits through exports have been hit, though Chapmans have helped by combining consignments to save costs.

Chapmans bought the Rye business in 2015 and since then have taken 100% of the catch landed by each boat. This has worked well, giving the boats greater financial stability. We can all do our bit by supporting our local fisheries and Chapmans by eating fresh, local fish.

At the same cabinet meeting there was news of funding totalling around £1 million, including central government grant, to improve tourist and other facilities at Camber Sands. This will include building “changing places” for the most severely disabled people.

Links to the details and background papers are at https://rother.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=153&MId=724&Ver=4

Image Credits: Tim Dickinson .

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  1. This seems like positive news and I hope it’ll help support and sustain a valuable local industry – indeed, an industry synonymous with Rye. I happen to know there are no facilities at all for fishermen landing at the Pontoon adjacent to the Martello plot down Harbour Rd – they could do with a loo and washing facilities. I wonder if some basic infrastructure could be funded from these monies? Anyway, good news.

  2. This is fantastic news of this needed grant
    Thankyou all involved Keith glazier ,sallyanne hart and numerous others at Rother
    This will give much needed jobs for people of rye and surrounding areas

    Cllr G Stevens


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