Kayak trail element of the Argyll Coastal Waters project near completion
This project, delivered by Argyll and Bute Council and the Oban based social enterprise, Stramash, has three elements – the creation of a kayak trail through Argyll, the development of paddle sports throughout the area and the placement of apprentices at outdoor businesses.
The kayak trail is a group of easily accessible launch sites at key points along a route which links Helensburgh in the south-east with Oban in the north-west.
The access sites at Ganavan, Toward, Arduaine , Bute Forest and Dunoon are complete, with the site at Crinan around 75% complete. Work is yet to begin at Tarbert but is expected to get underway soon, with a completion date around August. Similarly the work on the Helensburgh site has yet to get underway, although the work at that site is minimal and should be completed by the end of May.
The kayak trail has its own dedicated website which is expected to go live in June.
Argyll and Bute has huge development potential along its coastline and this project will exploit some of that potential and lay down a marker for the further development of kayak links throughout the area.
The project has also seen close links forged with local paddle sport clubs in an effort develop those kind of sports in the years to come, as well as running a successful apprenticeship programme which has seen four apprentices placed with Argyll-based businesses – two with Stramash themselves and two at the Lochgoilhead National Activity Centre.
Nicky Maccinnes, who is currently going through a modern apprenticeship with Stramash, said of the project: ‘’The apprenticeship has been providing me with brilliant personal development opportunities across a range of outdoor activities. The combination of experience and academic qualifications, will allow me to successfully develop a career within the outdoor industry.”
The project is funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, Argyll and the Isles LEADER programme and Argyll and Bute Council and will cost around £300,000.
The majority of the work on the shelters is being carried by local construction firm Stories (Argyll) Ltd., based in Dunoon.
Argyll and Bute Council has so far worked with businesses and community groups such as Scottish Canals, Tarbert Harbour Authority, Bute Forest and Toward Sailing Club.