Business support

Bute firm to expand and create jobs

A family run business on the isle of Bute is embarking on a £330,000 expansion project that will double its workforce and boost turnover.

Port Bannatyne Marina Limited has secured a £90,000 contribution to the project from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The marina currently provides 80 permanent berths, 25 visitor berths and repair facilities for boats up to 13.5 metres.

The expansion project will see the installation of a new slipway and hoist to accommodate lift-out of larger vessels up to 25 tonnes. The company will also upgrade the toilets and showers, so they are fully accessible, and create a new drying area and administration office.

The project will enable the marina to attract visitors looking for a higher standard of facilities, and secure more maintenance contracts for larger vessels. It will provide security for the existing four employees and create a further four posts over the next three years.

Company turnover is forecast to increase from its current £267,000 to more than £600,000 within three years, as a result of the project. This will enable reinvestment in a second phase of expansion, with the installation of additional pontoons to accommodate more visitors.

Morag Goodfellow, HIE’s area manager for Argyll and the Islands, said:

“Marine tourism is growing in Scotland. Recognised as some of the best sailing in the world, Argyll and the Islands is in an excellent position to benefit from this growth. The management at Port Bannatyne Marina recognise this and are taking steps to ensure they attract more and larger boats to the Isle of Bute, while enhancing the visitor experience.

“Improvements to the slipway and purchase of a boat hoist will allow the company to win more repair and maintenance business. All of this will help provide additional and valuable year-round income and employment.

“I am very pleased we are able to help the company pursue its growth ambitions and look forward to working with them in implementing the plans.”

John Stirling, Port Bannatyne Marina director, said:

“Sailing around the west coast is as popular as ever but boats are getting bigger and customers demand higher standards when it comes to on-shore facilities. Improving and expanding the services we offer means we can keep pace with the changes and expand our business as a result. Support from HIE is great news for us, great news for our customers and great news for Bute.”

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