Sea school set sail for brighter future
CULLEN Sea School is set to launch a bold new initiative which will greatly expand the services they offer.
The school, which is run by the Three Harbours Association (THA), has thrived since opening in 2016 at the refurbished boat house at Portlong Road near the harbour and with the necessary funding has now secured the next stage of the project.
Now the sights are set on transforming the block which formerly contained the public toilets at the top of the pier to the east of the harbour.
This will allow for creation of a new multi-purpose space on the top floor of the building to be used as a booking office, to deliver classroom training and as a community meeting place at other times.
In the summer months, locals and visitors will be able to take advantage of a new retail kiosk, refurbished toilets and improved picnic seating area.
THA have obtained the building under a long-term lease from the Moray Council and building conversion is to begin very soon with the hope that it will be completed in time for the coming summer season.
The harbour group's chairman, Prof Ashley Mowat, hailed the funders who have backed the project.
He said: "None of the this would have been possible without funding from Highland and Moray FLAG European and Maritime Fisheries Fund programme and the Scottish Government.
"In addition to this we received money the Beatrice fund, these sources not normally available to local authorities.
"Cullen Sea School would like to thank the funders, the Moray Council, and all that have provided support in getting to this point.’’
Cullen harbour is one of four recreational harbours owned by the Moray Council.
The harbour beaches are favourite summer havens for both locals and visitors.
For anyone wishing more information, plans will be on public display in the sea school from 10am-12noon on Saturday, March 21 then again on Saturday, March 28 and Saturday, April 4.
The sea school was opened with all due pomp and ceremony on October 26, 2016 when HRH Duke of Kent did the honours in front of a large crowd, including children from the village primary school.
The following summer the school opened for its first summer season, and since has been acting a centre for small boat building, sailing, coastal rowing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and training courses. Two skiffs have also been built at the school, with students from Buckie Community High School involved.
Established in 2010, the Three Harbours Association comprises representatives from Cullen, Portknockie and Findochty with the aim of capitalising on existing community collaboration to help develop and maximise the recreational, educational and tourist potential of the three historic former fishing harbours and surrounding coastline for all local residents and those who visit.