HRH The Princess Royal, accompanied by Lord Lieutenant James Wotherspoon officially opened the Thomas Telford Corpach Marina, Fort William on Tuesday 18 April 2023.
As part of HRH visit, The Princess Royal toured the new state of the art marina facilities and unveiled the plaque.
Thomas Telford Corpach Marina at the entrance to the Caledonian Canal, Fort William is Scotland’s latest marina development.
The £3.7M state of the art facilities offer a sheltered, all-weather, fully accessible marina and public slipway, with berths for 45 yachts and motor vessels plus small day boats, café, and amenities.
The marina has been developed with a partnership approach by ambitious community volunteers from Caol Regeneration Company, supported by The Highland Council, Scottish Government, HIE, Crown Estate Scotland, MOWI, SSE and many other local businesses and organisations.
The development aligns with the new Scottish Marine Tourism Strategy ‘Giant Strides 2020-2025’, which represents the next evolution of the successful ‘Awakening the Giant’ strategy.
The Corpach Marina embodies the ambitious opportunities within the ‘Giant Strides 2020-2025’ strategy by broadening socio-economic growth opportunities for marine tourism, sustainable employment, and the wider economic benefits within the ‘Fort William 2040’ (FW2040) masterplan which incorporates the importance of water and the need to take full advantage of existing water assets to support industry, tourism, and communities.
According to the Economic Value of Boating Tourism in Scotland Survey 2022, sailing /boating is estimated to contribute £84m in Gross Value Added (GVA) and 3,100 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs – many in rural and fragile coastal communities.
Convener of The Highland Council, Cllr Bill Lobban said:
“The opening of the Thomas Telford Corpach Marina marks a significant new opportunity for the people of Lochaber; marine tourism is an essential contributor to our coastal economies and these world class facilities are set to enhance Lochaber as a prime sailing and boating destination.
“We are honoured that HRH attended this prestigious event to officially open the Marina.
“The drive, energy and commitment of the volunteer committee must also be commended.
“The partnership approach to strategic development is a great example of good practise and one that can be replicated across our coastal communities as we take ‘Giant Strides’ to grow our Marine Tourism sector as we transition to a Blue Economy.”
Minister for Local Government Empowerment & Planning, Joe FitzPatrick said:
“The Scottish Government provided £1,465,000 funding from its Regeneration Capital Grant Fund for the construction of the new Thomas Telford Corpach Marina.
“The fund, delivered in partnership with COSLA and local government, supports projects which involve communities, tackle inequality and promote inclusive growth.”
“Situated at the western gateway to the Caledonian Canal, this is a great example of a project taking a collaborative place-based partnership approach, supporting community ownership and is community wealth building in action, which will stimulate regeneration within the communities of Caol and Corpach, neighbouring Fort William and the wider Lochaber area.”
Chair of Crown Estate Scotland, Amanda Bryan said:
“Yesterday’s opening of Corpach Marina marks a significant moment not just for Fort William and Lochaber, but for demonstrating how partnership working can help deliver for coastal communities.
“Crown Estate Scotland’s lease of the seabed to the Marina plus a commitment of £500,000 of capital investment forms part of a wider programme of support for people across Scotland to develop economic opportunities that can – as shown at Corpach – have multiple benefits for those who live, work, and visit an area.
“We look forward to working with other coastal communities to achieve similar successes.”