Record haul as Scrabster harbour embarks on redevelopment

The number of vessel arrivals at the port increased by 8 per cent to 2,480. Picture: Contributed
The number of vessel arrivals at the port increased by 8 per cent to 2,480. Picture: Contributed
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Scrabster harbour in Caithness has reported record revenues and profits for the fifth consecutive year.

Figures for the year ended March, released by the harbour trust, show pre-tax profit rising from £1.12 million to £1.26m with turnover increasing by £312,000 to just over £3.9m.

The financial results were presented at Scrabster Harbour Trust’s annual general meeting as the board set out a route map for continuing to grow the harbour’s activities through the redevelopment of the St Ola Pier.

The strong financial position came on the back of growth across most of the harbour’s trading sectors with ferry, fishing and energy-related activities being the best performers.

The number of vessel arrivals at the port increased by 8 per cent to 2,480 with overall vessel tonnage rising 2 per cent to a little over 8.5 million tonnes.

The number of passengers carried on the lifeline ferry service route increased by 4 per cent to 153,530. More than 355,000 boxes of fish were landed in the port fish basin, an increase of 21 per cent.

Oil and gas-related vessel arrivals and tonnage, meanwhile, rose by 14 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.

Cruise trade

The pier is being redeveloped to attract larger cruise ships and energy related trade. Tender prices for the multi-million pound project are expected soon, with works likely to begin early in 2020, the trust added.

Sandy Mackie, trust manager, said: “The accounts for 2018/19 are the strongest trading performance ever achieved by the harbour.

“The financial performance provides the foundation for further port development bringing increased economic value to the local and regional economy. We would not be able to deliver these results without the good and strong partnerships with the businesses and organisations who use the facilities.”

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