Water-taxi plan will bring pier back to life

Aros Pier with Tobermory in the background.

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Tourists coming to Tobermory could be catching a sea-taxi service across the bay to connect them to a new water sports centre on Mull.

Tobermory Harbour Association (THA) has come up with an ambitious regeneration  plan to breathe life back into a historic pier at Aros that dates back to the early 19th century and was rebuilt around 30 years ago.

The project, which would also see a new section of pontoon fitted, would benefit both islanders and visitors and cost an estimated £467,000.

Tenders for engineers and architects are now out and the project could be shovel-ready by the end of this year, said project officer Jenny Hampson, who is tasked with seeking more funds to make it happen.

She added: ‘It’s early days and there’s big work ahead. We’re still distilling what will go in the buildings but we know what we want to achieve for the area. We want to retain as much of its heritage as possible, create opportunities for groups and businesses, reconnect people between Aros and Tobermory via the water and create a loop so people can walk though the lovely woodland, getting exercise and  enjoying the beauty around them.’

As well as introducing a water-taxi service, the old sawmill and boathouse buildings on the waterfront would be repaired for community groups and small businesses to use.

Ideas still in the thinking-pot are an outdoor centre, a cafe, crafting workshops, toilets and changing rooms.

THA has also bought a piece of land above the waterfront on a scenic headland, where an undercover playpark could be built to give youngsters fun in wet weather.

Improving a footpath between the town centre and Aros waterfront, taking about half an hour to walk and suitable for wheelchairs and buggies, would help cut the carbon footprint.