It is expected that the entire marina will be commissioned in August, with the ‘An Cala’ community coffee shop and related shore facilities - including a public slipway - opening earlier in the summer.
The Gael Force contract will deliver a forty-berth marina with space also for smaller boats, comprising floating breakwaters, pontoons and an all-ability access walkway. Construction works will be carried out at Gael Force Group’s nearby Corpach boatyard, with assembled components being floated across to the marina site.
This phase follows on from the earlier development of a car park, public slipway and facilities building, which were completed during the last two years.
A recently agreed funding package has enabled these final works to go ahead. The funders include Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), which invested £150,000.
Ian Philp from HIE's Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross area team, said: "We are very pleased to have been able to help the company from the very start, including providing support for feasibility and the civil engineering and facilities building. It's fantastic that new jobs will be created in the marine tourism sector as a result of the enhanced facilities as well as improved access to the water provided for local people and visitors. We are delighted that the company is able to take its growth ambitions another step forward with the signing of the final phase and we look forward to working with them as they bring this fantastic asset to the area."
Benefits expected from the marina include new direct job opportunities, as well as indirect jobs in tourism and marine businesses and much improved access to the water environment for healthy lifestyles. It also means that the areas brand as “The Outdoor Capital of the UK” will be strengthened and green and low/zero carbon tourism projects will be encouraged.
Donald Corbett, Chair of CRC, said: “After more than a decade of continuous effort and determination by our team of community volunteers, I am delighted to announce that we are able to proceed with the third and final phase of Corpach Marina. The brainchild of the late Dr. Su Sen, this development emerged from an earlier plan by Lochaber Small Boat Owners Association. Over the years we have enjoyed the support of many individuals and organisations, for which I’m very grateful. Now that we have the green light for the final phase, we are confident it will be a fantastic asset benefitting the people of the area in so many ways.”
Andy McKenna, Chair of Thomas Telford Corpach Marina Ltd (TTCM), said, “There were many occasions when we thought this wonderful facility wouldn’t come to fruition - we were faced with huge funding challenges, a complete redesign of the facility buildings, and of course Covid. But we have come through all of that with really positive plans to contribute something big to the local community and to watersports in the area. The focus of the TTCM board is now on making this a success, a brilliant amenity that everyone can be proud of and that provides a truly excellent service to our customers.”
The project, which from inception has been driven by community volunteers is a testament to all involved. It was an ambitious undertaking and at times an arduous journey, however the rewards are to be commended and the legacy of the marina can be enjoyed for many years to come.”