Issued by Mallaig Harbour Authority
Friday 9th September, 2011 was a red letter day for the west coast port of Mallaig as the much vaunted and anticipated yachting facility was declared open for business.
The new facility, which can provide berths for up to 48 yachts, was part funded under the Sail West project and co-financed by Mallaig Harbour Authority, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and by The Highland Council.
Sail West is a maritime tourism led by Donegal County Council and funded under EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme for Northern Ireland, border region of Ireland and Western Scotland managed by the Special European Union Programmes Body.
The opening of the Mallaig Yachting Facility is a welcome addition to Mallaig’s continued development.
“The Authority has been planning this development for sometime so it’s great to see it finally in-situ” said Mallaig Harbour Authority Chairman Michael Currie.
“We believe this development will complement as well as augment existing yachting facilities here on the west coast of Scotland and that its position will enhance the opportunity for the yachting fraternity to explore and enjoy the magnificent sailing experience available here on this quite stunning coastline.”
The Mallaig Yachting Development consisted of three key elements, dredging, shoreworks and pontoon's.
The dredging of the inner harbour was carried out by Coastworks, Fairlie, Ayrshire, at the turn of the year with the dredging depth of 2-4 metres being attained relatively easily.
Irish contractors McLaughlin & Harvey undertook shoreworks, completing the land reclamation element of the work in early August.
In tandem with the shoreworks construction, Varis Engineering Ltd from Forres completed the development by anchoring the forty eight berth pontoons and jetties in-situ and placing the walkways and access bridge onto the shorebase.
Mallaig Harbour Authority is indebted to several agencies for their financial input into the Project but mainly to EU Interreg IVa via their Sail West Initiative which contributed £570,000 (€670,000) to the Scheme; to Highlands and Islands Enterprise; and also to The Highland Council.
“Quite simply, the Project would not have gone ahead without the financial input of these agencies.” says Harbour Manager Robert MacMillan. “Their assistance was the “key” that unlocked the financial aspect of this development and the Authority is indebted to them for their on-going support.”
Frank McGrogan, Project Manager for Sail West welcomed the opening of the new facility and suggested that the timing was excellent in that the project partners behind Sail West had just launched ‘MalinWaters’ - the new consumer facing brand name. It is targeted to make the Malin sea area a top class destination for sailing enthusiasts over the coming years. The new Mallaig marina will undoubtedly act as a quality facility in completing the necessary sailing infrastructure in the West of Scotland.
Scott Dingwall, Head of Regional Development, Fort William Area Office, Highlands and Islands Enterprise said: "We are delighted to have been able to support Mallaig Harbour Authority in the delivery of this regionally important Sail West project. It will provide a key facility for sailing and marine tourism on the west coast of Scotland and provide a welcome boost to the area."
Provost of Lochaber, and local Highland Councillor for Caol and Mallaig, Allan Henderson said: “The economic impact of the Mallaig Yachting Development is warmly welcomed by the local community. I congratulate Mallaig Harbour Authority who took the project on board and which is set to benefit the whole of the village as visiting sailors use services and facilities available to them on shore. The expansion of the harbour facilities to include a yachting marina is an extremely welcome link in the chain of west coast facilities for the yachting world and is the epitomy of partnership working, bringing many tranches of funding together to deliver a near £million project."