Community assets

Community marina expands as market grows

A community run marina on the Morvern peninsula is welcoming more visitors this year than ever before.

The Morvern Community Development Company (MCDC) used a £25,173 grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help meet the cost of enlarging the pontoon structure of the Lochaline Marina.

This latest expansion has increased the number of available pontoon berths and widened the entrance gaps to accommodate larger yachts.

The marina was created in 2011 when MCDC installed a 24-berth pontoon structure, after being awarded funding within the European Interreg IVA SailWest programme.

In 2013, with funding from HIE, LEADER and the community, the group added shore facilities, incorporating showers, toilets and a laundry.

In 2016, MCDC used an £8,000 grant from HIE to help fund the addition of ten new moorings.

As a world class sailing destination, the value of sailing tourism in Scotland is forecast to increase from £130 million to £167 million within seven years. MCDC is determined that Lochaline should benefit from this growth.

The marina already attracts thousands of visitors each year, which helps support local jobs and increase community resilience.

Ian Philp, development manager at HIE said:

“It’s great to see Lochaline Marina expand. The development, and the expansions, fit well with the national strategy for marine tourism. It strengthens the availability of sailing facilities around the west coast, thereby helping to attract more visitors and enhance their experience. It also enables the community to take further advantage of the growing sailing tourism market.”

Lilia Dobrokhodova, MCDC development officer, said:

“We wanted to attract more visitors to Lochaline and using the sea access is an excellent way to do this. We are around half way between Oban and Tobermory, which are both already popular sailing destinations.

“Lochaline has a lot to offer visitors and the marina has proved very popular. Local businesses have seen an increase in turnover as the market has grown. We think it’s important to keep pace with this growth and that’s what this expansion is about.”

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