Community projects took centre stage as Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael returned to his Islay roots for a day of visits across the island.
His day began by visiting Port Ellen Harbour Association who have received over £340,000 from the Coastal Communities Fund to install a new pontoon arrangement in Port Ellen Bay. This will increase the capacity of the existing facility by 40%.
Twenty two new berths will be purchased which will allow boats of up to fifteen metres to use the facilities. Market research conducted over the last ten years indicates that boats are getting larger, and the new pontoon will allow PEHA to cater for these larger vessels, therefore opening up the area to a new market of boat users.
The third round of bids for the Coastal Community Fund is now open. Over the next three years this fund will support over £14m of projects across Scotland. Mr Carmichael is keen for potential bidders to follow the initiative shown by those who have benefited so far.
He said: “Our coastal communities face unique challenges but as Port Ellen Harbour Association have shown, they also create unique opportunities. The wide variety of projects that have benefited from Coastal Community Funding so far underline the ambition, creation and innovation that exist in Scotland coastal communities. With over £14m available over the next three years I look forward to seeing even more ambitious Scottish projects realise their potential.”
Press Release, April 23, 2014