Boat maker to breathe new life into the Hythe

Essex County Standard: Boat maker to breathe new life into the Hythe Boat maker to breathe new life into the Hythe

LONG-DERELICT buildings once used as storage warehouses serving Colchester’s Hythe port are to be revitalised by a boatbuilding firm.

CTruk Boats, which builds commercial and military marine craft from its base in Brightlingsea, wants to transform the former Fieldgate site, in Haven Road, Colchester.

The firm has applied to Colchester Council to change the use of one of the buildings from storage to boat building, and says between 12 and 15 people would work there.

A letter from CTruk’s consultants reveals it intends to demolish many of the warehouses on the site and replace them with offices and a launch pad.

It is understood the firm wants to relocate to the larger premises. Paul Smith, councillor responsible for resources, said the initial bid followed six months of talks with the council’s estates team.

He said: “It really is good news all round.

“It’s good news for the Hythe as far as regeneration is concerned, and it’s good news as far as manufacturing jobs are concerned, because a local company is expanding”

Colchester Council owns the site. It has been unused since the town’s port closed at the turn of the century.

It was used earlier this year as a location for film-makers shoot ing scenes for a war movie.

Nick Barlow, councillor responsible for regeneration, said the fact CTruk would be using the River Colne would be a great boost to the area.

He said: “It shows there is a need for water-based businesses.

“Hopefully CTruk coming in will encourage other businesses to look at this area and think there may be stuff they can do there.”

Ali Wilkin, chairman of the Hythe Forum, agreed regeneration was needed there, but said she would wait to see more details of the proposals.

She said: “Anything that breathes life into that area would, theoretically, be quite good.”

No one from CTruk was available for comment.

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