Blue Toon harbour visitor plans

AT THE OPENING OF THE PETERHEAD FISHING HERITAGE CENTRE, (L TO R) JOHN WALLACE, CEO PETERHEAD PORT AUTHORITY, CLLR CHARLES BUCHAN, PROFESSOR SIR LEWIS RITCHIE AND MARGIE DAVIDSON.(KING/BROWN)
AT THE OPENING OF THE PETERHEAD FISHING HERITAGE CENTRE, (L TO R) JOHN WALLACE, CEO PETERHEAD PORT AUTHORITY, CLLR CHARLES BUCHAN, PROFESSOR SIR LEWIS RITCHIE AND MARGIE DAVIDSON.(KING/BROWN)

Peterhead Harbour was home to two boosts yesterday as plans for a visitor attraction were mooted as a new heritage centre opened.

Peterhead Port Authority is currently working towards a ‘visitor experience’ to promote the town’s bustling fish industry.

Chief executive John Wallace said that the project will help promote the town and educate children about where fish comes from.

He explained how there will be an area where visitors can see and hear the auctions in the fish market.

Normally, this would be prohibited because of health and safety laws, but under the new plans people would be able to enjoy the ‘sights, sounds and smells’ of the trading floor from a safe distance.

He said: “I think it can be a wonderful visitor experience for the whole of Peterhead. It will let people see the sale, the fish, the movements, the landings, the auction - it will be the whole story of fish from net to plate.”

The port authority want the centre to be at the heart of a £47m redevelopment.

It is hoped that bigger boats, and therefore hauls, will be brought to the Blue Toon harbour.

The port authority expect to receive tenders for the work by the end of October, and know if the proposal is affordable by mid-November.

All going to plan, the port authority expect the work to last for 18 months.

And these plans were being announced at the same time as the official opening of a heritage centre celebrating the fishing industry’s impact on Peterhead took place.

Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie opened the Fishing Heritage Centre on Monday, 12 October.

Also present was Councillor Charles Buchan, John Wallace and former teacher Margie Davidson.

Exhibits include intricate models of the different trawlers which have fished from Peterhead, as well as photos of families from fishing villages in the area, such as Roanheads, Buchanhaven and Burnhaven.

Visitors will also get the chance to see the impact that the two world wars had on the town, as well as photographs of the old railways station from the area.

Margie Davidson said it’s ‘great for schools, and is now tied to the harbour tours’.

She added: “Schools from Peterhead, Mintlaw and even Blackburn have been down”.