Firm’s riverside hopes

Family business is setting up on the riverside in Castleford looking after boats .'Pictured L/R: Damian Jones, Shane Jones, David Jones.
Family business is setting up on the riverside in Castleford looking after boats .'Pictured L/R: Damian Jones, Shane Jones, David Jones.
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A FAMILY of engineers hope to revitalise Castleford’s waterfront with ambitious plans to build on the banks of the River Aire.

Supreme Marine Ltd – a trio of Wakefield brothers – has moved into the former Hargreaves port off Lock Lane and hope to build a service yard and DIY shop for avid sailors.

Damian, David and Shane Jones – directed by business advisor and family friend Mel Smith – are also hoping to build a bankside cafe to entice the public into spending time by the town’s river.

Mr Smith, 62, said: “We are trying to revitalise industry on the waterfront and the plan for the next year is to build the place up – to create a large cafe and chandlery where people can buy boats and parts, but also get repairs and service.

“We’ve got to have vision and look past what’s here now. It’s very difficult to turn it from a commercial place to a place that can be open to the public.

“But there’s so much public interest in this site and we want to involve the public because it’s been here for 45 years. The place has been lying dormant for about five years – this way it won’t lose its history.”

Mr Smith said he hoped the company – which aims to have its service yard running by March – would employ around ten to 15 people as the business grows, including staff for the cafe, chandlery and engineers to work on boats.

He said: “We want to put a cafe in to change the image on the water front, so people can come in and see the boats being working on, show them around and give them access to boating.

“Historically that’s missing, because people don’t know it’s here. We want them to know they can join in and hopefully some of them will become part of the workforce – it’s their waterfront.”

Supreme Marine started in Wakefield a year ago and moved to Castleford to help bring in more commercial traffic from waterways at Whitwood and Goole.

Damian Jones, 35, said: “It’s been an exhausting year, setting the company up and getting the work in. For us to beat other established businesses to this site is an achievement, it’s like going from owning a milk round to owning a dairy. But we always thought this place would be ideal.

“Branching out means we need more than just three of us to operate it and the employment has to come from somewhere.

“The company wasn’t built on how much money we can make – we like being a small company in a big community – and the move is about what the site can give back to the community.”