A community run marina on the Morvern peninsula has expanded with the addition of ten new moorings.
The £21,000 project at Lochaline has been assisted with an £8,000 grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). The development will take advantage of an increased number of sailing visitors seeking to berth there and allow larger yachts to be more easily accommodated.
Morvern Community Development Company (MCDC) is behind the project that will build on the marina’s initial success. Visitor numbers have nearly trebled since the original 24-berth pontoons and onshore facilities were installed four years ago.
Lochaline Harbour and Pontoon Facilities attracts up to 10,000 visitors to the area every year, generating additional spending in local businesses and supporting local jobs.
Angus Robertson from MCDC said: “The new moorings will allow demand during the peak summer months to be satisfied and we expect up to 2,000 additional visitors each year as a result.
“Income generated from the marina contributes to the sustainability of MCDC and helps it fund other projects that deliver numerous socio-economic benefits to the fragile Morvern community.”
A HIE-supported strategy workshop helped the MCDC board and management team decide on the recently completed moorings project. It is forecast to generate £9,000 of additional income per annum, supporting further part-time employment at the marina.
The project supports HIE’s aim of developing resilient rural communities, particularly in fragile areas like the Morvern peninsula. HIE also encourages niche and high value tourism opportunities.
Ian Philp, Development Manager at HIE said: “Community confidence has increased significantly thanks to the original marina project being taken forward by MCDC and a new self-reliant culture has emerged.
“These new moorings fit well with the national strategy for marine tourism and will allow the community to take further advantage of the growing sailing tourism market. This should complement the impressive mix of safe anchorages, remote locations and onshore facilities found around Scotland’s popular west coast.”