Pupils celebrate new pontoons for harbour

Crowds line the harbour as the new pontoons are officially opened and the Girvan Academy skiff is launched
Crowds line the harbour as the new pontoons are officially opened and the Girvan Academy skiff is launched

Pupils from Girvan Academy took to the water in their newly-constructed skiff, the Creag Easlasaid, to celebrate the official opening of the £500,000 Girvan Harbour Pontoons.

The Creag Easlasaid – Ailsa Craig in Gaelic – was one of the first vessels to berth as the pontoons – 35 modern berths for a range of vessels with electricity and water supplies, secure quayside access and CCTV – were officially opened by Councillor John McDowall.

Mr McDowall also unveiled a cairn that will now be a permanent feature at the harbour.

And the Girvan Academy pupils took advantage of their prime position on the new pontoons to carry-out an official naming ceremony for their skiff, which they constructed– with the assistance of community volunteers – as part of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project.

Funded by the Sail West project through European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme for Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland and by Scottish Enterprise and South Ayrshire Council, Girvan Harbour Pontoons provide a great boost to the facilities on offer to sailors in Ayrshire.

Councillor John McDowall, Depute Leader of South Ayrshire Council – and a local Councillor for Girvan and South Carrick – said: “We have a terrific marine resource here in Girvan and these new pontoons will ensure it is used to its full potential whether for fishing, local business, tourism or leisure. We only have to look around today to see the excitement created by this development to see the difference it has made already and with aspirations to do even more, this is only the start of the journey – or should that be voyage!

“I’m delighted we now have a modern harbour area that can be enjoyed by many more sailors and I hope this encourages them to stop off and spend some time with us both here in Girvan and across Ayrshire.”

Garry Martin, Sail West Project Chairman, said: “Girvan Harbour Pontoons are a vital and strategic element of the overall Sail West project, enhancing the links between Scotland and Ireland and ensuring this part of the country is firmly on the nautical map. I’m very proud of what has been achieved and it’s great to see the pontoons are already very popular with sailors both from home and away. This site is sure to have a positive future.”

Commenting on the contribution of over 50% funding for the scheme from the European Union, Lorraine McCourt from the Special EU Programmes Body (SEPUB) said: “This initiative is a perfect example of how a wider EU -funded project such as Sailwest/MalinWaters can have a very significant impact on the local community.”