Community pontoon facilities open in Shieldaig

Last Saturday, the official opening took place of the new community pontoon in Shieldaig, Wester Ross.

The 11.5 metre floating structure, located just to the north of the existing concrete slipway, was installed in April this year to provide safer and more convenient access to the water for local and visiting boats at all states of the tide. Over the summer it has been well used by boaters in the local community, as well as by visiting yachts and marine based tourism providers.

The pontoon was built and installed by Varis Engineering of Forres and the moorings were provided and laid by Wester Ross Diving Services of Kishorn. Beckett Rankine were the consulting engineers for the work. The total project cost was about £86,000.  Funding was provided by the Highland Leader Programme, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Crown Estate, Highland Council and local fundraising by the Shieldaig Sports Association, who gave a big thank you to all the funders.

The official opening was performed by Councillor Audrey Sinclair. After she cut the ribbon, a barbecue was held and, to round the celebrations off, a few fireworks.

Fiona Wynne, stewardship manager at the Crown Estate, said: “We are committed to helping coastal communities improve access to their local marine environment, providing a safer way for people of all ages and abilities to get out on the water.

“This community development will further improve the harbour’s existing facilities and help attract  additional leisure and tourism trade from the sailing community. It forms part of a series of pontoons along the western coastline of the Highlands, encouraging more yachts and craft to visit the area.

“It will also hopefully encourage the younger generation to take an interest in boating and other  marine activities.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Shieldaig Sports Association and are  confident this development will be a great success.”
Pictured are Liz Whiteford of Highland Leader, Councillor Audrey Sinclair, Richard Munday, chairman of the sports association; and association directors Stephanie Ash and Kenny Livingstone