The community run marina at Lochaline on the Morvern coast on the north side of the Sound of Mull, has expanded its capacity with the addition of ten new moorings.
The £21,000 project has been helped by an £8,000 grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise [HIE]. The development will accommodate the increased number of leisure sailors wanting to berth there – and allow larger yachts to moor there.
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 says: ‘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.’
An 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 says: ‘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.’