Harbour users’ views sought in new study

St Andrews Harbour.
St Andrews Harbour.
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St Andrews Harbour could play a new role in further developing tourism in the area.

A study has been commissioned by Fife Council to develop a strategy and action plan for coastal communities around the region’s harbours.

It is hoped that the findings will lead to investment to upgrade facilities and capture more of Scotland’s £101 million sailing tourism market.

Leading the study is Sandra Macrae of Campbell Macrae Associates.

She will be consulting with harbour users, clubs, boat owners and other interested parties to gather views as part of the development strategy.

She said, “I’m keen to speak to anyone with a view on how Fife’s harbours, ports and docks can be developed and anyone with suggestions and views can email me - sandra@campbellmacrae.co.uk

“Harbour users can also give their input through a short on-line survey.

“A robust strategy and action plan will be used to help access external funding for upgrading facilities and developing leisure and tourism so now’s the time to make your views known.”

There are 37 harbours, ports, piers and jetties in Fife, many of which have historical connections. While there is some sailing activity, there is scope for greater economic development around most areas.

A previous study was carried out in 2003 and Anstruther was highlighted for development.

Currently, North Queensferry and St Andrews are under consideration for external funding.

It is hoped that the new study will identify further opportunities.

Cllr Lesley Laird, depute leader and executive spokesperson for economy and planning, welcomed the study. “With ongoing budget restrictions we need to be creative and this study is a passport to further explore routes to external funding and development of our coastal communities.

“Considering the anticipated growth in sailing tourism over the next 10 years to £145 million, Fife Council is keen to offer the right facilities to attract visitors and create a vibrant, new strand to our tourism economy which could benefit local communities through employment and new business development.”

Users of any of Fife’s harbours are invited to input to the study by completing the online questionnaire.

The study will conclude mid-March 2015.