College sets sail with new state-of-the-art facility

OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST TIM BAILLIE TRIES OUT THE  MARINE SIMULATOR WATCHED BY  PRINCIPAL  PAUL SHERRINGTON AT THE  NEW MARITIME ACADEMY IN PETERHEAD. (RAE/BROWN)
OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST TIM BAILLIE TRIES OUT THE MARINE SIMULATOR WATCHED BY PRINCIPAL PAUL SHERRINGTON AT THE NEW MARITIME ACADEMY IN PETERHEAD. (RAE/BROWN)

Banff and Buchan College officially opened their new Scottish Maritime Academy on Friday.

As part of the refurbishment, walls were knocked down and replaced to form classrooms, meaning the building has a completely new layout.

The building still has a great sea view from the front and it is hoped that students will feel encouraged to work as they look out on to it.

Speaking at the opening, Principal Paul Sherrington called it a “momentus occasion” and hailed the academy as an “ongoing commitment to the fishing industry” as well as adding the college was a “belief in the future of the industry”.

Also speaking at the opening was Olympic gold medallist Tim Baillie who mentioned his training and time at the Olympic Games in London. On the academy he said: “Here you have world class facilities, which is nice to have in the North-East.”

Before the plaque was unveiled, the chair of Board of Management at the college, John Cousins, said a few words. He said the new facility was “wonderful” and thanked all those involved with the creation of the new academy.

Stewart Stevenson MSP, who attended the opening, said: “This is a stunning new facility which underlines the strong commitment to the future of the fishing and maritime industry of operators Banff & Buchan College.

SNP Member of the European Parliament, Ian Hudghton and Peterhead South and Cruden Councillor Stuart Pratt got a special sneak preview of the academy before the opening on Thursday.

Mr Hudghton said: “It is an amazing transformation in facilities that I can see are in the ideal location, with dedicated staff and training with a focus on the fishing industry which is good locally and for Scotland as a whole.

“Hopefully young people will want to take advantage of the courses on offer here and it will attract people wider outside of the area, especially for the Merchant Navy courses.”

Cllr Pratt said: “The amount of work put into it is really great. I was involved in the attraction that was here originally so it is disappointing to see it drop but this will provide economy so it is worth having.”