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30th June 2016 - News Articles

Open Letter from Port Chief Executive

Uncertainty has been one of the defining characteristics across our wide and diverse British life since last week's vote to leave the European Union. The town, people and businesses of Dover are no different. Everyone is rightly concerned about what the future holds for them.

Set against this background, however, there is a cast iron certainty – the Dover Western Docks Revival is already happening. Nobody should be in any doubt about that, just take a walk to the seafront and see what is going on today.

The project’s future is not, and never was, entirely dependent on EU funding. We would have been extremely unwise to put all our funding eggs in one basket when designing a project so crucial to our future. As for the grants we have already been awarded by the EU, there is nothing to suggest they will be taken away, but there is no cast iron guarantee and there could possibly be more remote consequences of this in the later years of the project as an exit is negotiated. We will be working as hard as we can to reduce that uncertainty and ensure a strong future for our customers and community.

Dover Western Docks Revival has Government backing for a very good reason. It will create additional cargo capacity in a port which already handles 17 per cent of the UK’s import/export trade in goods. It will create high quality employment opportunities. And it will certainly act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of Dover.

In this post referendum period, projects like Dover Western Docks Revival are more important than ever. As Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, said only this week, investment in infrastructure sends a very clear signal to the rest of the world that Britain, and therefore its most important port, is still very much open for business.

At this time there is one unshakeable certainty - whatever the future holds for our country, we will always be an island, we will always need ships to carry our supplies and exports, and we will always need ports like Dover to service those ships.

Tim Waggott

Chief Executive

Port of Dover

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