Green light for Marina following signing of final phase contract

Donnie Corbett (front, right) Chairman of Caol Regeneration Company and Stephen Offord of Gael Force sign up for the final stages of work to get underway at Corpach Marine, watched by (left right) Archie MacGillivray, Douglas MacDiarmid, Andy McKenna, Shona MacLeay and Bobby Mathers. Photograph: Iain Ferguson,

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A £1million contract to construct the third and final phase of its £3.5m Thomas Telford Corpach Marina project has been signed off by the not for profit Caol Regeneration Company and Gael Force Group Ltd.

It is expected that the entire marina will be commissioned in August with the ‘An Cala’ community coffee shop and related shore facilities – including a public slipway – opening earlier in the summer.

The Gael Force contract will deliver a 40-berth marina with space also for smaller boats, comprising floating breakwaters, pontoons and an all-ability access walkway.

Construction works will be carried out at Gael Force Group’s nearby Corpach boatyard, with assembled components being floated across to the marina site.

This phase follows on from the earlier development of a car park, public slipway and facilities building which were completed during the last two years.

A recently-agreed funding package has enabled these final works to go ahead. The funders are:
•Highland Council (£400,000 through the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, and £100,000 from the Highland Coastal Communities Fund)
•Crown Estate Scotland (£500,000 capital investment)
•Highlands and Islands Enterprise (£150,000)
•Mowi Scotland (£150,000 in kind – repurposed mooring equipment – and cash)

Donald Corbett, chairman of CRC, said: ‘Over the years we have enjoyed the support of many individuals and organisations for which I’m very grateful.

‘Now that we have the green light for the final phase we are confident it will be a fantastic asset benefitting the people of the area in so many ways.’

The brainchild of the late Dr Su Sen the development emerged from an earlier plan by Lochaber Small Boat Owners Association.

Andy McKenna, chairman of Thomas Telford Corpach Marina Ltd (TTCM) admitted that there were many occasions when they thought that the facility would not come to fruition.

He said: ‘We were faced with huge funding challenges, a complete redesign of the facility buildings and, of course, Covid.

‘But we have come through all of that with really positive plans to contribute something big to the local community and to water sports in the area.

‘The focus of the TTCM board is now on making this a success. A brilliant amenity that everyone can be proud of and that provides a truly excellent service to our customers.’

Ben Hadfield (COO of Mowi Scotland), Simon Hodge (chief executive of Crown Estate Scotland), Stephen Offord (Gael Force Group production director), Councillor Allan Henderson (Interim Lochaber Area Committee chairman) and Ian Philp from HIE’s Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross area team all added their congratulations to CRC and expressed their delight at the imminent completion of the project.