Funding awarded for harbour overhaul in Westray
Orkney Islands Council has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Government of £1.7 million in funding towards a major upgrade of the harbour at Pierowall in Westay.
The support is from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), which is used to encourage sustainable economic growth in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.
The funding is a substantial contribution towards overall project costs of £2.8 million, with the Council providing the balance of £1.1 million.
Work is expected to begin later this month and will be carried out by Orkney-based contractors Andrew Sinclair, following a competitive tendering exercise.
Graham Sinclair, North Isles Councillor and Chair of OIC’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, said: “Pierowall Harbour is of critical importance for vessels involved in fishing, fish processing and fish farming. The Council made a strong case for EMFF support and the award of £1.7 million is warmly welcomed.
“A comprehensive upgrade will now take place, safeguarding the harbour for many decades to come as a key facility underpinning the local economy in Westray.”
The project will include a 10 metre extension to the breakwater at the harbour entrance, raising piers around the harbour by just under a metre, and a range of measures to improve safety and the day-to-day operation of the harbour, including the installation of new lighting, fire hydrants and ladders.
Danny Harcus, Chair of Westray Community Council, said: “This is a very welcome project. The harbour is very busy and plays a huge role in the sustainability of our community, the various fisheries and the many associated businesses that depend on them.
“Our shellfish and salmon fisheries employ a great number of folk, directly and indirectly, who live in Westray and contribute to our economy.
“This investment in harbour improvements will provide safer berthing in the winter time, which is vital now with the increased number of boats using the harbour on a year round basis. It will provide a firm foundation supporting fisheries activity for generations to come.”