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Moves to help Moray harbours become self-funding

Press release   •   Oct 16, 2015 09:30 BST

Councillors are to be asked to approve measures which could help make all six council-owned harbours in Moray self-funding.

The harbours – Buckie, Burghead, Hopeman, Findochty, Portknockie and Cullen – currently operate at an annual loss of around £135,000.

Expenditure for the current year is expected to be £580,000, offset by income of around £446,000.

Council officers believe the gap could be closed by introducing a business plan for each of the harbours, identifying income options and maximising the opportunitieswhich exist at each location.

Moray Council’s economic development and infrastructure services committee will be told next week that the purpose will be to identify how each harbour can be made financially self-sustaining within five years.

A report states that fees and charges will require to be looked at as part of the process and the review will include benchmarking of fees against comparable harbours elsewhere.

The report says Moray’s harbours have an important role to play in the economic life of the area by supporting the fishing industry, enabling the movement of cargo for the whisky industry, forestry, renewables and others and in supporting leisure activities and tourism.

Local harbour advisory committees will be involved from the outset in the development of any proposals.

Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 92,500 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.

Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.

Headquartered in  Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.