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Scrabster ‘nets £25m’ for economy

An economic impact assessment (EIA) has revealed the number of jobs the port underwrites has grown from 339 to 403 since 2009.

It also reported salaries and wages as a result of harbour operations have risen by 70 per cent in the last eight years.

The figures come from the EIA carried out to quantify the harbour’s growing importance to the far north economy.

It found the harbour generates £24.8 million gross value added (GVA) in Caithness, compared to £14.6 million in 2009. The report also revealed wages and salaries from the activities of the harbour are up from £6.2 million in 2009 to £10.3 million in 2016.

The total economic output of the harbour is now measured at £48 million compared to £39 million in 2009. The figures were revealed at Scrabster Harbour Trust's AGM last week when it reported it recorded a revenue of £3,377 million and profit before tax of £850,952.

Trust manager Sandy Mackie said: "These are strong figures and an endorsement for the vision and past investment at the harbour.

"There was growth in income across almost all sectors of port activities. The figures we have presented are among the strongest that have been presented at an AGM.

"The EIA is a reminder to Edinburgh and London that there is economic activity in the north of Scotland:'

Trust chairman Tom Pottinger said redeveloping the Ola Quay and the development of the enterprise park on Scrabster Farm to meet the demands of the oil and gas industry are its main aims for the future.

He said: "A redeveloped Ola Quay will assist the general cargo trade. The board is keen to explore what new opportunities could arise in the future from our strategic geographical position.

"The cruise ship sector would also be further enhanced with a longer and deeper berth on the Ola Quay with the increasing trend for larger vessels and the preference for berthing quayside!'

He added: "The board is having discussions with Highlands and Islands Enterprise in relation to the development of the enterprise park on Scrabster Farm.

"This site could be integral to the aspiration for the area of an oil and gas supply base in providing storage and industrial space for a variety of business.

"The trust is keen to continue dialogue with the development agencies and other potential co-funders in achieving the further development of Scrabster harbour for the benefit of a wider area:'

Picture Source - Scrabster Harbour Website

Article Source - Caithness Courier