A new joint initiative from the Fishermen’s Mission and a long-standing supporter of the charity is to result in a more modern look and up-to-date facilities for fishermen and their families in Fraserburgh.
Local businessman and long-standing Mission supporter Alex West has made a formal offer for the existing Fishermen’s Mission Centre with a view to providing a community focus for fishermen and other seafarers.
The Fishermen’s Mission will be remaining at the heart of the Centre.
Commenting, Alex West said: “I am very keen to retain and develop some of the more traditional facilities in the building, particularly the café and large meeting hall area.”
Alex added that migrant crew are an important part of Fraserburgh’s success as the UK’s largest shellfish port and he is keen that the industry should play its part in making them welcome.
The Fishermen’s Mission intends to develop new 24/7 facilities for fishermen within the existing centre, along with refurbished office space.
Fishermen’s Mission Chief Executive, Commodore David Dickens, said: “This is an ideal opportunity for the Fishermen’s Mission to modernise our operations in the area.
“It will better reflect the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s fishermen.”
He also highlighted the fact that fishing is a 24 hour occupation and the changes would allow fishermen access to facilities whatever the time of day or night.
David has also said the focus of the Fishermen’s Mission’s work is now on reaching out to fishing communities in the Fraserburgh area, particularly the smaller, more remote ports and harbours.
Alex and David were also keen to assure folk that the Memorial Room would be retained in its current form.
The joint development with Alex West will enable the Fishermen Mission’s Superintendent, Miriam Kemp, to be out and about, seeking and helping those fishermen and their families with the greatest need.
Andy Simpson, Chairman of the Fishermen’s Mission Local Advisory Committee for Fraserburgh and the Moray Coast is delighted with the outcome of negotiations between Mr Alex West and the Fishermen’s Mission. He commented: “A refurbished modern building with 24hr access can only be a win-win situation for our fishermen. It will also bring a new focus to the Mission, keeping its footprint firmly in the forefront of the fishing industry in Fraserburgh and along the Moray coast.”
The sale of the Centre is expected to be complete around Christmas, with a major development of the building taking place in spring 2015.
All being well, the new look facilities are due to be up and running by August next year.
The Fishermen’s Mission is the only national charity that works solely to support fishermen and their families. Further information about the work of the Fishermen’s Mission can be found at www.fishermensmission.org.uk