Luke Pollard MP has today reacted to the news that Plymouth Sound, officially recognised as the UK’s first National Marine Park, is to be granted £9.5M in funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Delivering the country’s first National Marine Park was a pledge on Luke Pollard MP’s 2017 election leaflet, and this goal became a reality in 2019. This extra funding will boost the project by paying for a new ‘Welcome Centre’ at the National Marine Aquarium, new accessible facilities, and funding a project working with the Ocean Conservation Trust to explore how seagrass can function as a carbon store. It is estimated the grant will support the development of 20 new ‘blue’ enterprises and create 464 jobs.
Commenting on the funding boost for the National Marine Park, Luke Pollard MP said:
“I was proud to formally propose creating the UK’s first National Marine Park in 2017. We have such an incredible opportunity to reconnect with our oceans and I am glad that the City Council’s bid has been a success.
“This needs to be a cross-party project. It was started by a Labour MP, took its first steps with a Labour Council, and now has a Conservative Council taking the helm. This is truly Plymouth’s project, and it belongs to the people.
“This funding means we will be able to create a truly stunning legacy for future generations, protect our oceans, better communicate what happens at sea and promote jobs on the water. It is a fantastic day for Plymouth.”
Plymouth Sound was formally categorised as a National Marine Park in 2019, with Plymouth’s then Labour-led City Council driving the project. Labour Councillor Tudor Evans also reacted to the news of the Sound’s funding boost today, stating:
“I’m proud to have played a part in getting this huge amount of money for our City. When I pitched to the Heritage Fund, I told them this nationally important project will be good for the environment, the economy, good for tourism, good for recreation and will benefit the city and its people for generations to come.”
Luke Pollard MP spoke in a Parliamentary Westminster Hall debate today about the increased funding for Plymouth Sound – you can watch his remarks below.