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Big investment in small harbour

LERWICK Boating Club and Lerwick Port Authority have joined forces to upgrade a young club members’ training facility as part of a £650,000 programme of improvements at the town’s small boat harbour.

The project will provide a larger wooden boat deck for junior sail training, including a new launching ramp to enhance safety for all users.

Around 40 young members participate in sailing and rowing organised by the Royal Yachting Association affiliated club. The deck is also used by members as a landing facility and boat park for their craft.

The deck project has attracted grants of £100,000 from the Scottish Government Town Centre Regeneration Fund; £50,000 from sportscotland, and £10,000 from The Crown Estate.

Lerwick Boating Club commodore Andrew Anderson said: “The new boat deck will improve safety for launching and recovery of boats, especially for junior sail training.

“This, along with the enlarged boat storage and the ability to carry out training on the boat deck, will enhance the club’s future training plans and the opportunity to attract national and international sailing competitions.

“It also provides the ability to cater for the ever-increasing size of the local Flying Fifteen class fleet and keeps sailing in the heart of the old town.”

The port authority will build and own the deck as part of the wider improvement programme and lease it to the club at a non-commercial rental.

The overall project also includes the second phase of replacing the small boat harbour’s 100 metre plus wall along with a walkway doubled in width and the introduction of seating and new railings.

 Work is now underway and will be carried out by local firm Tulloch Developments, who last winter completed a similar £150,000 first phase.

Port authority chief executive Sandra Laurenson added: “The overall programme will bring a range of benefits from a fit-for-purpose replacement wall protecting the shore to improved training facilities, safety, amenities and access.

“Rather than simply replacing the structure with a functional wall, we recognised its popularity with the public as a walk and sitting area and decided to improve its attractiveness.

“It will also be an excellent vantage point when the Tall Ships Races return in July next year.”

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