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Tourism Minister opens new Argyll pontoon

18 March 2013

The community of an Argyll peninsula are coming together to celebrate their latest initiative which will offer safe berthing and shore access for visiting boats.

The new Strachur pontoon on the Cowal Peninsula will be officially opened by Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing MSP today (Monday 18 March).

With support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) the £107,000 project has been developed by the Strachur Bay Moorings Association in a bid to attract visitors to the east side of Loch Fyne.

The 90 metre single finger pontoon and shore access ramp will allow as many as four boats, up to 15 metres in length to berth at Strachur at a time.

The project is one of two developments being delivered in the Loch Fyne area (the other is Otter Ferry) under the EU funded Sail West Initiative and is part of a wider series of project that have already been delivered across the south west of Scotland.

Sail West is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVA Cross-Border Programme 2007-13 and aims to develop marine tourism and recreational activities along the South West coast of Scotland, North West coast of Ireland, and Northern Ireland.

The community is delighted to be part of the Sail West project. Iain Arnold, from Strachur Bay Moorings Association welcomed the new pontoon facility. He said: “We hope the new facility will make it safe and easy for visitors to stay and enjoy Loch Fyne which offers stunning sailing and scenery. We also wish to encourage a new generation with our community to develop an interest in boating and sailing activities, and to fully appreciate and cherish their local environment.”

HIE’s Steven Dott, said: “HIE have been supporting community development in the area for many years. The project provides an additional safe haven with moorings and a landing pontoon for visiting yachts that are cruising the Loch Fyne area. The west coast of Scotland is an excellent sailing area and this project provides another link in the chain of marine and shore based facilities.

“This project ensures that boats are now able to rest at Strachur and makes it easier for visitors to get ashore. The new pontoon will undoubtedly improve the quality of the overall tourism offer while having a positive impact on the local community.”

Mr Ewing said: “Marine tourism makes a major contribution to our economy and we are working hard to strengthen and grow the industry. It is great to be here to be here today within the Strachur community to open this new facility which will be a great asset to the community.”

The community has worked long and hard for years on this project. The pontoon will now allow many more yachts to visit and to spend time and money in the area.

Further information: 

  • The project is being supported by a grant of £26,777 from HIE and £80,330 from ERDF.
  • About Sail West
    Led by Donegal County Council, Sail West is a unique marine leisure and tourism initiative aimed at improving and developing links between the North West of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the West of Scotland. The project is part financed by the European Union's European Regional Development Fund through INTERREG IVA Cross-Border Programme managed by the Special European Unions Programmes Body with co-funding provided by the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland and the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government in the Republic of Ireland. The INTERREG award for the Lochaline scheme was €223,663.
    The INTERREG IVA 2007-2013 Programme, funded though the European Regional Development Fund, is worth €256 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders. It has two distinct priority measures to create co-operation for a more prosperous and sustainable cross-border region. For more information visit the INTERREG website.

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