York & North Yorkshire

Scarborough Council agrees to SeaGrown seaweed farm grant

Seaweed farming
Image caption Scarborough company SeaGrown has licensed a 25-hectare site three miles into the North Sea

A seaweed farm off the east coast has been backed by a local authority.

Scarborough company SeaGrown has licensed a 25-hectare site three miles into the North Sea to harvest seaweed from sunken platforms.

Scarborough Council said it would act as the "accountable body" for a grant for the seaweed hatchery.

Councillors said they were pleased to "back a good news story", according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The cabinet committee said the authority would be a guarantor for £472,150 to SeaGrown Ltd from the Coastal Communities Fund.

Buoys and chains would be anchored at the site, with seaweed grown on submerged lines.

The project aims to be the first UK company to introduce farmed seaweed into new markets such as bioplastics, biotextiles and pharmaceuticals by 2021, the company said.

SeaGrown was founded by former Scarborough fisherman Wave Crookes and his partner, Laura Robinson, a marine scientist.

The firm hopes to create nine jobs in the first two years, rising to 23 within five years and more indirect jobs within the seaweed supply chain.

The farmed seaweed would be transferred to Scarborough harbour then, if plans are approved, to a new facility in Eastfield Business Park, the LDRS reported.

In 2015, seaweed's global market was estimated at about £9.6bn.

Follow BBC Yorkshire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to yorkslincs.news@bbc.co.uk.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites