Harbour Access Enhancement Project (Red Bridge Replacement Project), funding secured.
Following the announcement in December that SSE and Clyde Wind Farm Ltd had awarded £84,088 towards the replacement of the footbridge that spans the channel, known as ‘the cut’, leading to the boatyard [the cut is a vital link to the boatyard which employs 14 people and provides services to the fishing industry and the RNLI]. The Harbour Trust is delighted to have secured the required match funding from Scottish Borders LEADER Local Action Group with a grant of £129,541 towards the project which will cost over £225k in total. The balance of project costs will be met jointly by Eyemouth Harbour Trust and Eyemouth Marine Ltd, the new owners of the boatyard.
The pedestrian bridge which links the two sides of Eyemouth across the harbour, and is used frequently by residents, visitors and local businesses, will be replaced with a new, modern, wider, fit for purpose bridge which lifts to allow access for vessels up the Eye Water to the boatyard slip. Patrick Flockhart, Eyemouth Marine Ltd commented “We are currently in the process of redeveloping and improving the boat yard in order to take it into the 21st century and hopefully guaranteeing high quality jobs there for the future. This is a process which is likely to take a few years. The fixing of the red bridge makes us more secure in deciding on making these investment decisions.”
The new bridge, with a 120-year design life, is a capital project which will serve the Eyemouth community, visitors and businesses, securing this important access route for the town for many years to come. Simon Lynch, LEADER Programme Facilitator commented “The Red Bridge is vital to Eyemouth linking the two sides of the town and harbour together. LEADER is delighted to help fund a new improved bridge which will allow full disabled access as well as use by forklifts for the first time. These improvements will help sustain Eyemouth’s fishing and boat building industry as well as making the Eyemouth sea front more accessible and attractive to tourists.”
Commenting on the project, Christine Bell, Business Manager at Eyemouth Harbour Trust, said: “We are so pleased to be in a position to take the project forward now that funding is in place. The community have shown a lot of support for replacing the bridge and we are keen get things underway. We are already speaking to Consulting Engineers about the pre-tender stage, with a view to putting it out to tender for a design and build contract in April and appointing a contractor in June. Design, fabrication and construction is planned to start in late summer with completion in early 2019. Lindsay Dougan, Community Investment Manager added “SSE and Clyde Wind Farm Ltd are delighted to support this fantastic project. The new bridge will provide significant benefits for Eyemouth residents and will help increase tourism to the area. The new infrastructure will be vital to support the economic growth of harbour industries.”