Plans have been unveiled for a £90 million transformation of Mallaig Harbour in a bid to increase ferry services and accommodate larger vessels at the site.
Mallaig Harbour Authority said that its 20-year strategy could also deliver a new facility for West Highland College, incorporating multi-use space for education and business.
As well as making the outer harbour more accessible for fishing boats, the masterplan envisages a new breakwater quay to enable ferries up to 105 metres long to berth at the site, along with a deepwater quay for cruise liners up to 160 metres.
In the Mallaig Harbour Authority’s masterplan document, it states: “Mallaig Harbour must not stand still. The consequence of ‘do nothing’ is highly likely to be gradual decline, loss of industries and direct jobs, and people leaving, with obvious impacts on the village.
“In contrast, the masterplan transforms the prospects of the village and its population, and also sustains the peripheral island and remote mainland communities that Mallaig Harbour serves.”
The authority estimates that the successful implementation of its plans would generate an economic boost of up to £155m over the next 30 years and create about 125 extra jobs a year in the first seven years – on top of the 200 existing roles in aquaculture, fisheries and the boatyard that would be safeguarded.