Euro-MP Hudghton visits storm damaged Harbour

Port Erroll Harbour Trust Chairman, David Webster with MEP Ian Hudghton
Port Erroll Harbour Trust Chairman, David Webster with MEP Ian Hudghton

Member of the European Parliament, Ian Hudghton, visited Port Erroll Harbour, Cruden Bay on Thursday to hear plans for its restoration and future.

Mr Hudghton had been invited to visit the harbour by Trustees to hear about repair work that has already been carried out to stabilise the worst-effected areas and be briefed on plans for further works and the development of facilities there.

The harbour was badly damaged by storms in December last year and work is now underway to prevent further damage being done and to protect surrounding facilities.

The Cruden Bay Harbour Trust revealed it is considering becoming a charity to help make it easier to raise funds for vital repair work.

The Trustees also revealed they have a four point repair plan they hope to follow to get Port Erroll Harbour back to its best, with the first phase - securing the outside walls - set to cost them three quarters of a million pounds.

Trustees also made it clear they want the harbour to be repaired and used for tourism, education and community reasons.

Trust Chairman, David Webster, said: “It is great to have Ian visit us again, almost a year since he was last here.

“We invited him along so we could make him aware of the situation and seek his help and guidance for the future.

“We have matched funding from Scottish Water to insure their facilities are secure.”

The trust have been awarded £5,000 by Total E and P, £10,000 by BP and £3,000 from Aberdeenshire Council, but are seeking advice from Mr Hudghton regarding possible funding from Europe for the remainer of the £750,000 amount.

Mr Hudghton said: “A lot has happened here since my last visit under a year ago and now they are doing emergency repairs to try and stop further damage.

“They are facing a huge challenge now to secure their asset, and I can see it is a working asset attracting significant interest with fishermen launching their boats from here.

“I will see to what extent I can help but this is a big challenge in these tough economic times.

“I hope to be able to look for facilities on a European level to help but there is a stress on EU funding, it is a wonderful plan but there are lots of competing harbours and they will need to think broadly for other possible funding streams.”