Sutton Harbour generates £28m a year for city economy

Marine related businesses in and around Plymouth’s historic Sutton Harbour support more than 770 jobs and pump £28 million a year into the local economy, according to a new independent report.

And next May’s prestigious Transat single-handed yacht race – which will use Sutton Harbour as its base – could generate over £110,000 a day in additional spending from visitors to the city, based on previous events.

The figures are contained in a report drawn up by national development and infrastructure consultants Peter Brett Associates.

They were appointed to look at the economic value of Sutton Harbour’s fishing and marina activities to the Plymouth economy, and the potential spin-off benefits of staging events like the Transat and the annual Classic Boat Rally in the Harbour.

The study was commissioned by Harbour owners Sutton Harbour Holdings plc, which owns and operates Plymouth Fisheries and The Marina at Sutton Harbour.

It shows that Plymouth Fisheries, which includes the second biggest fish market in England, supports 565 jobs and contributes £22.6 million a year to the city’s economy. The Marina supports a further 205 jobs in Plymouth and contributes £5.6 million every year.

The report also assesses the potential impact of high profile one-off events like the Transat and finds that it could generate up to £1.1 million of additional spending (excluding residents), or more than £110,000 a day based on a 10-day event. Such spending supports many of the restaurant, retail and accommodation jobs around Sutton Harbour.

Jason Schofield, chief executive of Sutton Harbour Holdings plc, said: “Sutton Harbour is where the city of Plymouth started and this report shows the enormous contribution that the Harbour makes to the economy of Britain’s Ocean City, and how quality events can attract significant visitor spend.

“The Harbour and the waterfront are real economic drivers. Our own vision for Sutton Harbour shows how using 12 redundant sites for homes, offices, shops, hotels and restaurants could attract £75 million of construction investment and support a further 900 jobs and add £34 million to Plymouth’s economy every year.

“Plymouth’s spectacular waterfront is its biggest asset and Sutton Harbour is right at the heart of it. We want to work with our partners in the city to realise this potential, cementing its reputation as a destination of regional importance and national significance.”

The report was officially unveiled at a Plymouth Chamber of Commerce breakfast event at the National Marine Aquarium and its findings are being circulated to hundreds of stakeholders across the city this week.

Sutton Harbour Holdings plc is hoping to accelerate its investment in Plymouth’s waterfront by realising an acceptable value from its interest in the former airport site in the north of the city.

The Company recently published research from economic research consultancy Regeneris showing how the redundant airport site could meet 10% of the city’s housing need, create hundreds of full-time jobs and generate tens of millions of pounds for the economy every year. It could also create a one-off windfall for Plymouth City Council in excess of £50 million because of the council’s freehold interest.

Sutton Harbour Holdings plc is seeking to have the former airport site included in the Plymouth Plan as a regeneration site that could make a significant contribution to Plymouth’s economy.