The board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has approved funding of £3.5m for the creation of the new marina and facilities at Newton Basin.
Stornoway Port Authority (SPA) has a £66m masterplan, which identifies projects designed to boost economic growth in marine tourism and other sectors. The Outer Hebrides is a key sailing destination for visitors, and Stornoway is an important link in a chain of marinas stretching from the Butt of Lewis to the Isle of Barra.
Plans for the first phase of the 20-year masterplan include the creation of the new marina at Newton. HIE’s investment will support SPA to create 70 new berths, a marine engineering workshop and infrastructure to support a new food standards building with an estimated cost of £11m.
Through the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is contributing £2.75m to the project.
Work , on the Newton Basin project will start as soon as consents have been obtained, expected in April this year. Once completed, the scheme will offer shoreside facilities for those using the new marina as well as a public slipway, a boat-lift facility and boat storage.
The new berths at Newton will complement the 80 berths at the marina in Bayhead, which was completed in 2014. The expanded marina quickly filled up soon after the berths were installed. meaning there is still a shortage of space in summer.
Other projects included in phases one and two of SPA’s masterplan include the creation of a new deep-water port for cruise ships, cargo and decommissioning.