The construction of the biggest whitefish trawler built in England for eight years is underway at Stainsacre Industrial Estate, Whitby, thanks to funding from Yorkshire Bank.
The new trawler is being built for North Sea family fishing business, Lockers Trawlers Ltd, after gaining backing from Yorkshire Bank’s North Yorkshire Business Banking Centre in York, under its Investing for Growth initiative.
Parkol Marine Engineering, Whitby, is building the 26m x 8.2m trawler, which will feature new technology and be named Our Lass III WY261. It is due to be commissioned by Lockers Trawlers in August 2013.
Lockers Trawlers Ltd was founded in 1987 by managing director, Arnold Locker and his cousin, Michael Locker.
The company, which also operates out of Peterhead, will add the new trawler to its existing fleet of five vessels which catch white North Sea fish including cod, haddock and halibut, between Norway and the Yorkshire coast, and supply fish merchants between Peterhead and Whitby.
Arnold Lockers, whose son, James, 32, is a former Fishing News “Young Fisherman of The Year” and is the lead skipper with the business, said: “We are investing in the new trawler, which will meet the latest health and safety specifications and provide excellent working conditions, to take advantage of rising North Sea fishing quotas, as well as to expand our guard ship business.
“Borrowing money is very difficult at the moment but we’ve been a Yorkshire Bank customer for more than 30 years and the bank has always been very supportive and understood our needs.”
Lockers Trawlers Ltd, which has 40 staff and a £5m turnover, currently provides a guard ship service – which supports vessels involved in commercial operations such and oil and gas provision and wind farming – in partnership with Streonshalh Guard Vessels, Ellon, Aberdeenshire and is currently working alongside Groen Offshore Guard & Support Services in the Irish Sea, guarding new IT cables being laid from Holyhead to Dublin.
Duncan Brock, of Yorkshire Bank, said: “Arnold Locker is a significant figure in the sector and we’re pleased to support the continuing expansion of his business.”
Yorkshire Bank’s Investing for Growth initiative enables businesses to take advantage of loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments and extended loan and credit terms designed to take advantage of quality growth opportunities. Businesses signing up to the package can re-invest the cash into their operation for expansion, new staff, equipment, machinery and commercial development.