At yesterday’s council meeting (Thursday 26th June) members approved the full business case for major infrastructure improvements to Campbeltown harbour and agreed to release over £1m to deliver the project.
The project will see both berthing and on-shore improvements which will make the marina a more attractive sailing destination.
The council wishes to acknowledge the work of the Campbeltown Loch Berthing Company who have run the facility for the past 25 years. The retirement of the directors and the transfer of asset to the council will enable this significant improvement project to move forward.
The project team has engaged actively with the local community and other key stakeholders throughout the design process and there is wide support for these improvement works.
The new pontoon layout will have a total of 54 berths – 10 at finger pontoons, 28 alongside berths and 16 additional berths by rafting – and provides a flexible layout which can accommodate larger craft.
This new layout will see the main leg shortened to bring the berthing more in to the lee of the quay as well as the addition of an angled concrete breakwater to protect the more northerly berths.
The new on-shore facility will include male, female and family toilets and showers as part of creating a more attractive contemporary offer for visitors as well as resident boat users.
This represents a huge improvement to the current facility which currently provides lay alongside berthing for up to 18 vessels, up to 38 when including triple rafting, which is considered as an unattractive option for many visitors , has limited capacity for larger vessels, is open to strong easterly winds and has very limited on-shore facilities.
By incorporating finger berthing, some potential berthing for larger vessels and an on-shore toilet and shower block the facility will be transformed into a small but credible transit marina that should appeal to a wide variety of visiting craft.
Following member approval of the business case the project team will begin the tendering process for a contractor and an operator, as an alternative to the council who will manage the facility if a suitable operator cannot be found.
Should the procurement be successful, it is envisaged that the work will begin towards the end of this year and be completed by the spring of 2015, meaning the newly upgraded marina is fully operational for the start of the 2015 sailing season.
This facility has the potential to improve the tourism offer for both Campbeltown and the wider Kintyre area and provide a huge boost to the local economy, with an economic impact assessment (EIA) estimating the new facility to be worth around £300,000 per annum to Campbeltown.