Wick Harbour Authority to benefit from Axis 4 European Fisheries Funding
14th June 2013
The Highland Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) has awarded funding of £30,098 to Wick Harbour Authority for the purchase of additional infrastructure to increase the capacity at Wick Marina from 72 to 84 berths. Interpretation panels will also be installed in the area around the harbour to promote the maritime heritage of Wick and provide information regarding the diversification process to create a modern port. A series of interpretation panels will provide information about the local wildlife and coastal walks.
The funding has been awarded from the Highland European Fisheries Fund programme which provides support for projects which contribute to the sustainable development and improvement of the quality of life in fisheries dependent areas.
Funding is aimed at coastal communities affected by the downturn in the fishing industry. Wick was a major fishing port in Europe in the late 1800's and relied heavily on the fishing industry throughout most of the 20th century. As the fishing industry has declined, Wick Harbour Authority have looked to diversify and develop new facilities and services that will provide local employment and encourage visitors to the area.
Robert Silverwood, Board Member of Wick Harbour Authority said "In 2009, Wick Harbour Authority installed a marina which has had a fantastic effect upon both the harbour and the surrounding infrastructure with an estimated £35k revenue input to the local economy. The existing marina has now reached capacity and has a waiting list that exceeds availability of berths
The project aims to encourage and accommodate visitors to the area through the provision of enhanced facilities. The increased income will help sustain the harbour and the many micro-enterprises who serve the marine and tourist industries.
The information displays will benefit visitors and residents alike, highlighting places of interest and local activities. It is hoped this will encourage visitors to stay longer and enjoy the area."
Councillor George Farlow, Chair of the Highland Fisheries Local Action Group, said "A wide range of projects can be considered such as those relating to skills development, promoting eco-tourism, diversifying activities, adding value to fisheries products, infrastructure improvements and the promotion of the culture and heritage aspects of fisheries communities. Projects which encourage co-operation and communication among groups locally, nationally or trans-nationally are also encouraged."
Funding of £418,592 is still available under the Highland Axis 4 European Fisheries Fund Programme. All funding must be committed by the end of 2013, therefore as funding is only available for a limited time, groups and businesses in the Highlands are encouraged to contact the Programme Co-ordinator to discuss project ideas.
The FLAG is inviting local groups and businesses to submit expressions of interest for potential projects by 26th June 2013 for consideration by the Highland FLAG as part of the next funding round. Expressions of interest are looked at by the FLAG on a monthly basis - the following deadline for the submission of expressions of interest will be 26th July 2013. Further rounds will be announced throughout 2013.
For further guidance and to obtain a copy of the Expressions of Interest form please contact the Highland Council Planning and Development Service on 01463 702250 or email planning[AT]highland.gov.uk This information can also be found by visiting www.highland.gov.uk/eff
The Wick Harbourfest 2012 showing how the marina has changed Wick Harbour and become made the harbour a great focal point once again in the town. The harbour business plan was for the berths to be filled in five years but this goal was achieved in less than three years and hence the need for expansion of the berth numbers to met demand.