Dover Harbour Board holds meeting over port plans

Port of Dover
Image caption The Port of Dover has been run as a trust since 1606 but the harbour board wants to privatise it

Plans to privatise Dover port and set up a community trust have been discussed at a public meeting.

Dover Harbour Board, which has run Dover as a trust since 1606, sought permission from the government to privatise it last year.

The board held a meeting in the Kent town to seek views on how a community trust would be run.

Residents in the town have already voted in favour of a rival "People's Port" bid by Dover People's Port Trust.

Last month, the harbour board said a new operating company established under its privatisation plans would give £10m to a Port of Dover Community Trust, followed by £1m a year for five years.

It also said independent consultants had calculated the potential benefit to the town would be £95m in the first five years and £60m a year thereafter.

Organisers of the rival People's Port bid said £50m would be invested into regenerating the town.

Chairman of the Dover People's Port Trust Neil Wiggins also said the wider economic benefits of their bid could reach £330m over five years.

The government announced in May that ports should only be sold if new owners brought "significant community participation".

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