Funding brings wave of optimism to ports
Harbours in the area have benefited from more than £120,000 of investment which will allow extensive marine projects to progress.
The North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group (NESFLAG) has awarded the funding to Banff harbour to build a new slipway and in Whitehills to convert the former fish market to create new landing facilities.
NESFLAG manages the small scale community-led local development element of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), financed by the European Union and the Scottish Government.
The programme is co-ordinated by Aberdeenshire Council and comprises a partnership of around 20 organisations from the private, public and community sectors.
Successful projects in this round include the new slipway extension at Banff harbour, which was awarded £85,011.38.
The port is a mixed leisure and inshore fisheries harbour owned by Aberdeenshire Council.
The project involves the installation of a large concrete slipway which will improve access to and from the water.
Most boats in the harbour are taken onshore during the winter months and currently rely on the hire of a large crane twice a year.
The slipway will allow the harbour to easily and quickly perform this task with increased flexibility and much lower cost.
It will also ease access for daily users of the harbour, such as water sports enthusiasts and provide a facility which can be used by berthholders at other harbours along the Banffshire coast.
Corrie McCall, principal officer of harbours at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “Aberdeenshire Council is very grateful for the£85,011.38 funding towards the slipway extension and boat hoist at Banff Harbour.
“This project will help to improve and promote the leisure facilities available at Banff Harbour Marina which will in turn support the local community and economy.”
Whitehills Inshore Fishermen’s Association has been awarded £41,455.09 for the fish market conversion development.
The applicant is a recently formed association of inshore mackerel and shellfish fishermen based in the village’s harbour.
Fishermen have worked collaboratively to develop a project which will convert a unit in the former fish market into a landing facility.
The building is adjacent to the quay and new davits will significantly ease the process of landing the catch from boats.
The project costs include the conversion of the building; chill room installation; ice machine; new davits; weighing scales and various equipment.
Charles Milne, chairman of the Whitehills Inshore Fishermen’s Association, said: “We applied for NESFLAG EMFF funding and we were absolutely delighted when this funding was approved.
“It will help us build a top-quality chill facility complete with ice machine, scales and landing davits.
“It is a wonderful addition to the harbour and hopefully a great legacy for future generations."