More pontoons planned for St Andrews harbour

St Andrews Harbour . Picture by Walter Neilson.
St Andrews Harbour . Picture by Walter Neilson.

St Andrews harbour is entering a new phase of its £350,000 redevelopment as the Harbour Trust seeks funding for pontoons to provide 16 more berths in the harbour.

And there is some urgency this year, as the Trust now has a waiting list for berths for the first time in many years.

Along with doubling the number of berths, the Trust plans to install water and power facilities for visiting yachtsmen.

The Trust has applied to St Andrews’ Common Good Fund for £25,000 towards this element of the redevelopment, which is estimated to cost around £120,000.

Last year the Common Good Fund handed out their largest grant ever to the Harbour Trust – £15,000 towards the first phase of the work.

That work was completed in last summer last year and Cameron Rae, chairman of the Harbour Trust described it as having been “highly successful”.

“The boat owners are really pleased with it,” he said, “and the harbour has a waiting list for the first time in many years.”

Dr Rae explained that as well a seeking funding from the Common Good Fund, the Trust would be looking at other funding streams for the harbour, including European funding.

“We hope to get this development done as soon as we can,” Dr Rae continued, “we hope to get the funding in place this calendar year and then the work can happen very quickly after that.

“It will all depend on what funding is available to us and what we can access,” he added.

The development already has planning permission from Fife Council.

The new pontoons will continue along the west wall of the harbour where the first phase of pontoons are.

Already a small, but growing, number of pleasure craft are based in the sheltered waters of the inner basin.

The harbour is believed to date back to the 16th century and is now owned by the Harbour Trust which was reconstituted in 2010.

Its role is to ensure the harbour and its facilities are maintained, and that use of the harbour is controlled safely and efficiently .

As well as the safe operation of the harbour, the Trust aims to improve the harbour and its surrounding area to benefit residents, the local community and visiting users.

Last year then Trust chairman Brian Paterson described the harbour is one of the “little gems” in St Andrews.

“St Andrews’ only access is by road and we would like to see it by sea as well.”

Mr Paterson promised: “The pontoon will give people access to the town – and be accessible for the less able sailor.”

Prior to the installation of the pontoons, the last major work undertaken at the harbour was in 2013 when new gates were installed after the original 200-year-old gates were destroyed in a freak storm a year earlier.

Then the Harbour Trust raised more than £100,000 to renew the gates.