Study looks at tourism potential of Fife’s harbours

Tayport is one of the harbours offering the best leisure potential.
Tayport is one of the harbours offering the best leisure potential.

A study of Fife’s harbours has been carried out to look at ways of marketing and developing the region’s sailing facilities.

The research – commissioned by Fife Council and carried out by Campbell Macrae Associates – looked at the facilities and activities at Fife’s 37 harbours, ports and piers.

It found that while many harbours enjoy some sailing, cruising or leisure angling activity – estimated to bring in around £1.34 million to the Kingdom each year – most of Fife’s harbours are not particularly well known by leisure sailors and many lack the facilities required to meet their needs.

It also recognised that the fishing industry plays an important role along the Fife coast and for many visitors there is an added attraction in seeing and visiting working fishing communities.

The study recommends that Anstruther, St Andrews and Tayport are the locations presenting the best leisure potential, but that there are opportunities to improve and increase the leisure use of many of Fife’s other harbours.

Councillor Lesley Laird, depute leader and executive spokesperson for economy and panning, said: “With ongoing budget restrictions everyone increasingly needs to work in partnership and be creative. This study is a starting point for a discussion to help explore routes to external funding and find ways of developing our coastal communities.

“Considering the anticipated growth in sailing tourism in Scotland over the next 10 years - expected to be worth an estimated £145m – Fife Council is keen take a strong partnership, project-orientated approach so that our harbours 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

“We have been in contact with representatives of Fife’s harbour trusts, fishing industry, sailing and angling clubs to invite them to discuss the study’s recommendations.”

The recommendations include increasing awareness and improving marketing, increasing capacity, exploring ways of overcoming tidal harbours, expanding and improving the facilities for harbour users and capitalising on dry tourism opportunities.

Anyone interested in further information on the study should email alison.laughlin@fife.gov.uk.