The opening ceremony of Mallaig's new Yachting Marina will take place this Friday (27 April), celebrating the £950,000 development at the port.
Officials from Donegal County Council that are leading on the EU funded Sail West marine tourism project and from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the Highland Council are set to attend the opening ceremony along with Harbour Authority personnel and children from the local Primary School who are helping in the development of a new logo for the Mallaig Yachting Project.
The Mallaig Yachting Facility which was completed in September 2011 comprises berthing for up to 48 yachts with water and electricity available at all berths.
"We are delighted with the facility" says Harbour Authority Chairman Mr Michael Currie, "and indebted to all agencies who contributed to its creation. We are looking forward to our inaugural 2012 summer season. It's set to be an exciting time at the port."
The new facility was part funded under the Sail West project and co-financed by Mallaig Harbour Authority, HIE and by The Highland Council. Sail West is funded under the EU's INTERREG IVA Programme for Northern Ireland, border region of Ireland and Western Scotland managed by the Special European Union Programmes Body.
Mallaig Harbour Authority is indebted to the agencies for their financial input into the Project but mainly to EU INTERREG IVA Programme via the Sail West Initiative which contributed £427,500 worth of funding to the Scheme; to HIE; and also to The Highland Council that assisted the Harbour Authority complete the required funding package.
Provost of Lochaber and local Highland Councillor for Caol and Mallaig, Allan Henderson said: "Mallaig Harbour's existing core businesses of fishing, ferries and fish farming will be enhanced by its future involvement in the Leisure and Recreational market making Mallaig 'a port for all reasons'."
Scott Dingwall, Head of Regional Development, HIE, said: "Sailing and marine tourism are growing industries and already make a huge contribution to the economies along the west coast. The opening of the new yachting marina will result in a greater amount of sailing activity creating an economic spin-off that will result from the increased use of local facilities and services. We welcome the opening of this excellent facility at Mallaig Marina and are delighted to have been able to support Mallaig Harbour Authority in delivering the project."
A new web-site has been created and www.mallaig-yachting-marina.com although still a work in progress, can now be accessed.
Discussions between the Authority and Nevis Estate as regards the provision of toilets, showers and laundry facilities for the yachting development at the Old Village Hall site are currently ongoing stated Authority Port Manager Mr Robert MacMillan and its creation will be next on our agenda.
Mr Gary Martin from Donegal County Council and Chairman of the Sail West project Steering Committee was delighted to be able to attend the launch event.
"The investment in Mallaig is one of the larger capital schemes approved under Sail West and I congratulate the Mallaig partners as the result is very impressive. Sail West is a very ambitious marine tourism project currently consisting of twenty mostly public sector partners from across Ireland, Northern Ireland and the West of Scotland. The benefit of joint partner collaboration is evident in the schemes being implemented in likes of Mallaig, Ballycastle in Northern Ireland and at Culdaff in County Donegal that will make sailing more appealing and likewise the introduction of the new marine tourism brand MalinWaters and the MalinWaters.com website can prove to be a key marine tourism driver for the partner region."