Eyemouth Harbour Trust’s financial support from SBC

Eyemouth's fish market and deep water harbour
Eyemouth's fish market and deep water harbour

Eyemouth Harbour Trust will continue to receive £62,000 a year from Scottish Borders Council for the next five years.

The money will enable the trust to make loan repayments to the Public Loans Board for a £1 million loan taken out in 1998 towards the upgrading of the harbour, which included investing in a deep water harbour to allow larger fishing boats to come in and out of the harbour on any tide and a new £1.6 million fish market and ice plant.

The loan, payable over 50 years, had been guaranteed by Borders Regional Council and local authority help has been called on several times.

In 2002 the harbour trust defaulted on a repayment of £30,555, which Scottish Borders Council paid. At that time the outstanding debt was £986,301.

The following year the trust received a £633,950 bail out by the Scottish Executive.

In 2010 Scottish Borders Council agreed to make the loan repayments of £62,000 a year for five years to give the harbour trust financial “breathing space”, and this week councillors agreed to extend the financial help by a further five years.

East Berwickshire councillor Michael Cook said: “The long term downturn in the fishing industry is a huge challenge, but the economic benefits of a successful and profitable harbour to Eyemouth, East Berwickshire and the wider Scottish Borders remain enormously significant.

“Work done by the harbour trust suggests, across the catching and processing sectors, the fishing industry in Eyemouth supports 280 jobs with a further 40 jobs estimated in provision of upstream services (fuel, engineering, boat repairs etc).

“It’s often said that the harbour is the beating heart of the town. I don’t think that’s an exaggeration, and the council is determined to support this most vital of assets.”