Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council approves harbour and marina strategy

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough councillors have agreed to create a new strategy for the area’s harbours and marinas.
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It follows the presentation of a Harbour and Marina Strategy Procurement report to the Council’s Environmental Services meeting on January 16.

The report stated that, while the harbours and marinas bring income to the council, they operate at a “significant financial deficit”, mainly due to costs associated with essential maintenance and dredging.

In 2018 the costs were estimated to be £743,000, and, in September last year, members gave officers approval to carry out a procurement exercise and appoint “suitable civil engineering consultants to revisit costs and comprehensively assess the costs over a period of 50 years”.

The decision to create a harbour and marina strategy, for sites such as Ballycastle Harbour (pictured), was approved by Councillors at an Environmental Services meeting on Tuesday January 16. Credit Causeway Coast and Glens CouncilThe decision to create a harbour and marina strategy, for sites such as Ballycastle Harbour (pictured), was approved by Councillors at an Environmental Services meeting on Tuesday January 16. Credit Causeway Coast and Glens Council
The decision to create a harbour and marina strategy, for sites such as Ballycastle Harbour (pictured), was approved by Councillors at an Environmental Services meeting on Tuesday January 16. Credit Causeway Coast and Glens Council

An audit, carried out by the Audit Committee on June last year, recommended that a strategic review of the current harbours and marinas provision should take place, which “should be moulded into a strategy and be brought to Committee”.

The strategic review will focus on increasing marine tourism, through existing and new marine activities and identifying the future needs of harbours and marinas, investigation of the current state of the fishing industry to identify signs of decline or expansion, and assessing the possible need of a marketing plan.

In regards to a marketing plan, the report stated that the strategy would “Investigate, evidence and report the need for developing a strong brand for harbours and marinas in order to build customer recognition and distinctiveness”.

Ballymoney Alliance Councillor Lee Kane said the strategy “was very much needed”.