AN investment of £10m will be made into a North Yorkshire town to place it at the forefront of the expanding offshore renewable industries.

North Yorkshire Council is starting a pre-planning consultation on a new Whitby Maritime Hub, which will provide training and certification opportunities for the maritime, marine and offshore industries, to residents of Whitby and the wider area.

The funding for the project will come from the £17.1m that was given to Whitby as part of the Government’s Town Deal scheme, which awarded the town, as well as Scarborough a total of £37.3m in 2021.

Building on Whitby’s proud fishing and sailing heritage, the hub in Endeavour Wharf will address a local need to develop a better supply of technical abilities in the maritime sector and maximise job opportunities.

Additionally, the hub will also provide accommodation for maritime businesses and service providers to further support economic growth in the Whitby area.

North Yorkshire Council executive member Cllr Derek Bastiman, said: “This is a £10m investment and we believe the hub will become a renowned centre of maritime training and enterprise which strengthens and supports the local seafaring sector.

“It will open the door to new economic and tourism growth for Whitby and Scarborough as well as the wider area and help to create the next generation of skilled apprentices and professions by providing first-class training and facilities for a range of maritime industries.

“Young people will have a route into highly-skilled maritime trades, like the growing offshore renewables sector, from on their doorstep without the need to travel out of the area.”

Workshops on the hub’s ground and first floors will house the current and new wharf-based operations and functions of the Harbour Authority.

There will be space for classroom-based training, engineering workshops and marine biology laboratories, offering opportunities for training and employment in areas ranging from marine biology to emerging industries, such as off-shore wind.

The second floor will be an office space for marine-based start-up businesses and other maritime industries. The space is intended to be occupied by local, regional and national businesses and organisations, making Whitby a hub of maritime activity.

The consultation is now open and will run for four weeks, closing on Friday, February 9.

In person events, at which the public can ask any questions to council officers and find out more information, will be taking place on the following dates: Tuesday, January 23, from 10am to 4pm, at Eastside Community Centre; Saturday, January 27, from 10am to 4pm, at Whitby Coliseum; and Wednesday, January 31, from 10am to 7pm, at Whitby Coliseum.