Plans move ahead for Tobermory’s Solum

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Tobermory Harbour Association (THA) is moving ahead with plans to purchase the Solum of Ledaig car park and boat park thanks to £22,040 from the Scottish Land Fund.

THA chairman Brian Swinbanks said the board of Tobermory Harbour Association is ‘incredibly pleased’ with the award.

In 1993, the THA signed away the right to lay and maintain moorings at Ledaig so that Ledaig Car and Boat Park to be built. It was built in partnership with Strathclyde Region Council and finished and improved over the last 20 years by the harbour association, providing facilities for all from parking to pontoons from boat slips to showers.

Once the Solum purchase is finalised, Tobermory Harbour Association says it aims to work with others to create new facilities and other environmental improvements at Ledaig.

Mr Swinbanks said the work would include a design strategy to benefit the harbour, the wider island community and very welcome visitors.

The Solum of Ledaig Car Park and Boat Park, a piece of land to the south west of Tobermory, was once the seabed owned by the Crown Estate. The area was infilled with rock in the mid 1990’s to make the Ledaig development.

The land is currently leased to Argyll and Bute council and hosts the only off-street car park for the town centre.

The council sub-let a small section of the Solum, known as the ‘boat park’, to THA. Over several years, the association has developed that area to include a harbour building with toilets and showers, offices for let, boat storage and compounds, and extensive landscaping and environmental improvements.

THA general manager Anne Fraser said: ‘We are delighted to receive this award from the Scottish Land Fund. This piece of land has strategic importance for the long-term development of Tobermory Harbour.

‘Ownership of the Solum will empower the local community to ensure any future development of Ledaig will include a community impact assessment. As community landowners, Tobermory Harbour Association will work in partnership with government bodies on equal terms, to drive transformational change, for the good of the local community.’

And Paul Bancks, asset manager at Crown Estate Scotland, added: ‘It’s great news that the Tobermory Harbour Association has been able to secure their long-standing plans for the Solum of Ledaig. Hopefully this development will help both residents and visitors alike, and we’re looking forward to working with them to help Tobermory Harbour develop in a way that benefits the community.’