Tidal barrage will not force closure of Esplanade businesses despite rumours

Lee Preston Stefani, Louisa Smith, Craig McOmish, Jack OBallance, Helen Taylor, David Wall, Natillie Foulser and Theo Petrocelli.
Lee Preston Stefani, Louisa Smith, Craig McOmish, Jack OBallance, Helen Taylor, David Wall, Natillie Foulser and Theo Petrocelli.

A terrace of Fleetwood shops overlooking the Wyre estuary is not set to demolished to make way for a proposed tidal barrage scheme.

That’s the message from the Stefani family, which runs the Ferry Café and the Harbour Lights Amusements and rents space out to neighbouring shops on The Esplanade.

None of this is true but our tenants are concerned that potential trade may be affected and it makes them uneasy

Anna Stefani, who owns the block, says that although plans for the ambitious Wyre Tidal Barrage scheme are continuing, there has been no arrangement involving any land or properties owned by the family. Mrs Stefani said rumours were persisting that the whole terrace of businesses was soon to be bulldozed to make way for eventual construction work on the barrage.

It is thought the rumours began after confusion following a public meeting when the barrage was discussed several weeks ago.

She said: “None of this is true but our tenants are concerned that potential trade may be affected and it makes them uneasy. Although the barrage people did speak to us quite some time ago, at no stage was any agreement made about these shops being bulldozed. Some customers have been making comments and the whole thing is in danger of getting out of control.I can’t say what may happen in the future, but at this time these shops are going nowhere.”

The barrage scheme will harness tidal energy from the River Wyre between Fleetwood and Knott End, at the same time creating an ecological tourism attraction. The project is being put together by Natural Energy Wyre (NEW) and it is hoped it can be operational by five years.

There are several businesses on The Esplanade terrace, including a barbers and a tattoo parlour. The traders have set up an association, called Beside the Seaside, and are set to hold a Stars in Their Eyes event in front of the shops on Sunday June 26.