Funds sought for North Berwick harbour repairs
Government funds are being sought to help repair and improve North Berwick harbour.
Local MSP Iain Gray and councillor Willie Innes, leader of East Lothian Council, met Minister for the Environment Paul Wheelhouse to discuss the possibility.
The talks came about following an exchange in parliament after at storm in December last year caused serious damage to the harbour, many vessels and the Scottish Seabird Centre.
Mr Gray said: “I felt it was important to meet the minister and his officials to make sure that they understood the importance of the harbour sea defences to the future of the town. It has built a reputation as a first class sailing centre, which we must protect and develop. That will not be possible if the owners of sailboats do not have confidence they can keep them safely in the harbour.
“This means it is not just a question of repairing damage done to the north wall, but also building an adequate north east defence because that is where recent breaches have occurred. Other proposals such as the lobster hatchery also require proper defences against storms to be in place.
“The harbour is at the heart of North Berwick’s future as a tourist and leisure destination. In particular I do not think the Minister was aware of how much damage had been done to the seabird centre, and the importance of Galloway’s pier for their work. The minister was very sympathetic to the case we made and I very much hope that this will turn into financial support for the much needed improvements.”
Councillor Innes added: “We know what needs to be done at North Berwick, thanks to the feasibility study carried out after the 2010 storm. However that points to an investment of hundreds of thousands of pounds. The council has committed significant funds to coastal infrastructure in our budget, but of course that has to suffice for all the harbours in the county.
“The minister indicated a number of government funds which we may be able to access and I have asked council officials to follow these discussions up with Marine Scotland and the Scottish Government.”
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Weather for Musselburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
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