PLANS for a new pontoon at Eyemouth harbour have stepped up a notch now that the final piece of the funding jigsaw has been put into place.
In December, it was announced that the Eyemouth Harbour Trust had been granted £115,487 from the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) to install another visitor pontoon in the harbour.
There was further good news for the trust at the end of last week with confirmation that the CCF grant had been match-funded with a European Fisheries Fund Axis 4 contribution of £38,000 to fully fund the £153,000 total project cost.
The new pontoon will be located on the west side of the inner harbour, below the old fishmarket, with work expected to begin in late summer and be completed by the end of the year.
The overall objective of the project is to increase visitor numbers and develop tourism in the area and the trust hope the new pontoon will: create additional pontoon berths with shore access gangway; attract additional visitors to the area; support local businesses through provision of infrastructure allowing development of tourism and aiding growth in a variety of sectors; safeguard existing jobs and create new employment opportunities and promote sustainable economic growth in the East Berwickshire community.
Once the pontoon development is complete, there will be further work to be done to ensure long term growth and sustainability in the town.
“The Trust will contribute to a wider PR and marketing campaign, promoting the infrastructure and the East Berwickshire destination itself,” explained EHT business manager Christine Bell.
“As a tourist destination the area has much to offer with its unique marine and coastal environment, its pristine water and activities such as diving, sailing, surfing, kayaking, sea fishing, wildlife, fishing heritage and coastal walks.
“The project will not only generate revenue for the harbour through berthing and passenger charges, it will create opportunities for other local businesses in food and drink, retail and tourism sectors.”
“We are delighted that the project has attracted 100% grant support from Coastal Communities Fund and European Fisheries Fund.
“This support demonstrates that the development will bring wider economic benefits to the East Berwickshire area.”
Berwickshire MP Michael Moore was instrumental in the development of the Coastal Communities Fund, which was launched in St Abbs last year and has so far also given funding to Eyemouth Museum and Seton Care, and he said he was thrilled that the Harbour Trust’s plans were well on track.
He told ‘The Berwickshire’: “Following the news in December that the harbour had been granted over £100,000 for a new pontoon, it’s great to hear that it has now been fully funded by an additional grant from the European Fisheries Fund.
“This funding will double the existing pontoon availability at the harbour and make it more attractive for tourism and dive vessels.
“This will provide a fantastic boost to the local economy and I want to congratulate the Eyemouth Harbour Trust and the Council for securing this well-deserved funding.”
East Berwickshire Councillor Michael Cook also welcomed the news that the European Fisheries funding was now in place and said it was testament to the the hard work of the Harbour Trust that their goal was well on its way to being achieved. He commented: “The Harbour is the heart of the town, and this is a great boost to the local economy.
“It represents important revenue for the harbour, benefits local dive and leisure vessels, but also, crucially, brings people into Eyemouth and the surrounding area to spend money with local businesses. It’s a particular pleasure to see lots of vessels in the harbour as people come from all over to enjoy what we can sometimes take for granted.
“The trust has worked extremely hard to deliver a new pontoon, and its members are to be congratulated on this major step.”