Bridlington Bay's successful and profitable lobster industry was the subject of a well-attended webinar last week, which was delivered by the University of Hull on behalf of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
Around 40 stakeholders and business and community leaders joined in to hear a stimulating presentation by Peter Andrews and David Harness from the Hull University Business School about future business opportunities associated with the industry.
Following the university team's extensive research - funded by the Holderness Coast Fishery Local Action Group (FLAG) - they highlighted the fact that around the world, with the exception of the UK, places involved with the lobster industry are using this product to promote their towns to a national and international audience of potential visitors.
Bridlington is the largest lobster fishery in Europe and the presentation asked the question: Why isn't the town doing the same as these other towns across the world and capitalising on this unique opportunity to drive tourism and support the fishing industry?
The university team set out a clear vision and 'road map' for how the East Riding coast could achieve something similar. It drew extensively on the experience of other towns which have successfully differentiated their town's standing on the back of the lobster trade, offering a unique and authentic experience for visitors.
The presentation was well-received by those in attendance, seeing the potential economic opportunities presented through the ideas, particularly at a time of uncertainty and with the need to give the area's coastal towns support after the impact of COVID-19.
Councillor Victoria Aitken, portfolio holder for economic development and inward investment at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "I recently had the fantastic opportunity to visit Bridlington Harbour to see firsthand the wonderful work of the fishing industry and the Harbour Commissioners, and I was impressed with the scale of the operation and the desire to work together to build the economic value of the industry.
"This initiative builds on that success and extends its reach into the hospitality and retail sectors of the town, with potentially massive benefits to all businesses in the town and the wider coast. The council will be wishing to take this further and support in whatever ways we can, the ideas presented by this extensive research."
The webinar will be publicly available online in due course, but if you wish to view it please initially contact Denise Cowling, renaissance delivery coordinator at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, at email@example.com and you will be sent a link.
If any business, community group or resident wishes to become more involved in this initiative, they should also initially contact the above email address.