Work is about to start on a milestone development to create a new marina at Stornoway as part of an ambitious long-term vision for the town’s harbour.
Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy Kate Forbes joined representatives from Stornoway Port Authority and local organisations at a turf-cutting ceremony at Newton where the new facility will be built.
The Port Authority revealed that firm RJ McLeod Contractors Ltd has won a £5 million contract for the marina which will be the anchor project on the site as part of its 20-year Master Plan for the harbour.
The upgraded marina will see the creation of 70 new berths for leisure craft, a marine engineering workshop and infrastructure to support future development including business/industrial and leisure.
The project will provide much-needed facilities for local and visiting sailors and tackle a shortage of yacht berths and amenities which is constraining potential growth in marine tourism.
The Port Authority has a popular marina that was expanded in 2014 and can take 80 leisure craft. However, the berths filled up soon after they were installed and there is now a shortage of space during the summer and winter seasons.
As part of the Master Plan, the Port Authority also aims to create a deep-water port which is crucial to accelerate local growth in the burgeoning cruise business, by providing improved facilities for larger ships that cannot currently berth alongside.
Alex Macleod, Chief Executive of Stornoway Port Authority, said: “The awarding of this contract represents a significant milestone in our plans to develop a new marina and for the entire Master Plan.
“Stornoway needs these facilities to maintain and enhance its share of the growing leisure sector. It will be a significant asset for the port, the island community and our visitors and bring considerable economic benefits to the area.”
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