ABERDEENSHIRE councillors are being urged to back a feasibility study into ambitious plans for a £8 million marina at Stonehaven harbour, one of the area’s most photographed tourist attractions.
Local community group, the Stonehaven Town Partnership, is behind the proposals to investigate the potential development at the busy harbour.
And members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Kincardine and Mearns area committee are being asked to approve proposals to lend the partnership preliminary advice and technical assistance to support a feasibility study into the development of a marina.
Stephen Archer, the council’s director of infrastructure, states in a report to the committee: “Anecdotal evidence would suggest that there may be demand for such a facility on the North east coast. Proposed future development across south Aberdeenshire, including the proposed major residential development at Elsick, could add to the size of the potential market for such a facility.
“Evidence from other such facilities, and an economic study prepared to support the Banff Harbour Marina development, does suggest that Stonehaven could expect to see wider economic benefits from the
development of such a facility. At this stage these are not quantifiable and much more detailed work would be required to determine the scale of such benefits.”
He states that an indicative layout suggests that more than 250 vessels could be accommodated within the proposed marina development, potentially delivering an annual income of between £150,000 and £250,000 to Aberdeenshire Council which owns the harbour.
Mr Archer states: “From initial discussions with Stonehaven Town Partnership, and others, it would appear that there is a community desire to look more closely at the feasibility of such a development. The investment costs will be considerable and before any decision can be taken on the viability of the proposal a robust business case will have to be developed.
“As this is presently a community led initiative it will be for those groups to determine if they wish to consider this further. However, there is no doubt that the group would benefit from input from council officers who have pervious experience with the development of similar projects. It is therefore proposed that officers from the Harbour Service continue their dialogue with these groups to support the development of a preliminary feasibility business case.”