McDonnell in Fleetwood to spell out plans for Bank of North

John McDonnell with MP Cat Smith during his visit to Fleetwood
John McDonnell with MP Cat Smith during his visit to Fleetwood

Fleetwood’s port and fishing industry could stand to benefit significantly under ambitious plans from Labour, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell stated in a visit to the town.

Mr McDonnell, accompanied by Fleetwood’s Labour MP Cat Smith, was at the town’s docks to spell out how the party’s plan for “regional investment banks” could provide opportunities to invest in fishing and dockside industries.

Labour’s plan to grow the economy involves setting up a national investment bank and regional development banks – including a ‘Bank of the North’ - to help unlock £500bn to fund major capital projects and finance growth.

Mr McDonnell met representaives of dock owner Associated British Ports and fishing representives to discuss the plans, in the wake of news of a snap General Election called by Teresa May for June 8.

Mr McDonnell said: “Fleetwood is the ideal sort of town that would benefit from our Bank of the North plans.

“Through improved Government funding and private investment we can increase its connectivity and bring more jobs.

“There is real potential here what we plan to do is to bridge the unacceptable gap between the north and London.”

Cat Smith said: “I invited John here because I wanted him to see the potential and the need for investment which we need to revitalise Fleetwood.”

Fleetwood’s fishing industry, once boasting a massive distance water fleet, is now reduced to a handful of inshore boats battling to make a living. On the docks, meanwhile, there remains a huge question mark over the much heralded purpose-built fish park which was supposed to be operational next year but is now shrouded in doubt.