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Morecambe fishing empire nets new home

Gerry Foote.
Gerry Foote.
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A fishing tackle shop described as ‘the biggest of its kind in the North West’ is set to open in one of Morecambe’s most historic buildings.

The ground floor of the former Alhambra Theatre will become home to a haven for anglers run by Gerry’s Fishing Tackle.

The family business, run by keen angler Gerry Foote and his family, will be moving out of their store on Parliament Street in the West End.

The new shop, opening on March 30, is nearly five times the size of their current one at more than 14,000 square feet, and will sell equipment for all types of fishing.

To celebrate the grand opening, Gerry’s is organising a huge angling weekend on April 25 to 26, to be attended by some of the top fishing stars in the country.

Gerry’s, nominated last year for The Visitor’s Sunshine Business Award, ships thousands of fishing rods and reels every year to all four corners of the globe.

Born in Lambeth and brought up in Burnt Oak, north London, Gerry moved to Morecambe after meeting his childhood sweetheart and now wife of 34 years, Barbara.

Her mum Elizabeth Beresford had moved up here, opening West End Sports shop on Regent Road.

Gerry originally ran his business from a shop on Fairfield Road, before moving to Heysham Road and then Parliament Street in 1995.

The ground floor of the Alhambra building, owned by the O’Brien family, has been disused since the West End Indoor Market shut in 2012.

Previously it was an antiques centre and before that, an amusement arcade.

The building is also known as the home of the former Carleton or Inn on the Bay nightclub.

Meanwhile a Morecambe angler has told The Visitor that fishing is enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the town.

Matthew Preston said that while anglers had some lean years recently, mainly due to rock armour sea defences along the Promenade reducing the number of places where they could fish, things have greatly improved - especially on the north wall at Heysham Harbour.

“It’s been a really good year,” he said.

“There’s a lot of cod being caught in the local area. I don’t know if it’s because a lot of anglers have left Morecambe, but we’ve never had it so good.”