30 OCT 2010

People's Port bid launch

Today the bid for the People's Port was launched on Dover Beach. A video can be found at the end of this post. It was a huge honour that Dame Vera Lynn was able to join us at the launch. Full details of the People's Port bid can be found at www.peoplesport.org.uk.

There were representatives of all three ferry companies who support to People's Port plan. Local Government was represented by Cllr Paul Carter of Kent County Council and Cllr Sue Jones, Mayor of Dover Town Council. Speeches were also given by the President of the People's Port Trust, former FTSE100 chairman Sir Patrick Sheehy and Big Society guru Philip Blond of the think tank Res Publica.

The offer made by the People's Port Trust is that £200m should go to the Treasury. The money will be raised from financial institutions, who have declared an interest in funding the purchase. Just like a mortgage. The interest would be paid by port revenues - which is why the support of the ferry companies is so important. £50m will got to the community pot for regeneration and the main purpose of the trust is to develop the port and regenerate the port and the town of Dover. The Trust would own the port and membership of the trust would be open to anyone in the Dover community - a mutual society, just like the co-op.

After the launch, Dame Vera spent a long time in the Yacht Club, where she accepted honorary life membership. It was a fun day and great to have her back in Dover. Many thanks to everyone who helped make it a great and memorable day - not least the homeless people from Emmaus who helped with stewarding the event. 


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Charlie Elphicke

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