£2.2 million Euro boost puts wind in Scotland’s sails

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Published Date: 

14 Jul 2011 - 10:26

Sail West’s £6.3m MalinWaters project, a collaboration of more than 20 partners from the West of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland, is set to improve and enhance the infrastructure for sailors on the the shared maritime region off the coasts of western Scotland, Sligo, Donegal and Northern Ireland.

Scottish projects, which include extensive upgrades to a variety of berths, piers and marinas, will receive £2.2m from the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme, with 25 per cent extra funding from local authorities and organisations bringing the total to £3m.  

The announcement took place in Campbeltown Harbour, which is receiving £200,144 from the project. The money is  25 per cent funded by Argyll and Bute  Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise Argyll.

Visitors to Scotland who take part in sailing or yachting as part of their trip contribute £21 million each year to the Scottish economy.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, one of the partners in the Sail West project, added: “Scotland’s waters offer both sheltered sailing for novices as well as more challenging seas for the experienced sailor. Visitors are offered stunning wilderness as they cruise within the waters where they can feel completely exhilarated while escaping the stresses of everyday life. VisitScotland’s Surprise Yourself campaign is all about presenting traditional Scotland with an unusual twist, and the Sail West MalinWaters project will prove instrumental in highlighting all the fantastic sailing opportunities this country has to offer.”

Sail West Project Manager Frank McGrogan, of Donegal County Council, said: “The MalinWaters marketing initiative will prove to be a great asset to all involved in the Sail West project. It will provide comprehensive information on the quality marine leisure product we have on offer and through working with our partners in Northern Ireland and Scotland, enable us to package and promote this fantastic product. The brand will act as a glue to connect the various partner areas and, most importantly, it will create sustainable employment opportunities and increase the number of tourists coming into the area.

 Councillor Neil Mackay, Argyll and Bute Council’s spokesperson for enterprise, energy culture and tourism said:

“The waters of Kintyre and the west coast of Scotland have long been known for some of the finest sailing in the world. Our investment in Campbeltown will bring more visitors to the area to see for themselves how beautiful the area is and to benefit from our hospitality.”

The Sail West MalinWaters investment programme will be backed up by a marketing programme aimed at promoting the Sail West region as a must-visit marine and cultural tourism destination.