Buchanhaven Boat Shed's aquarium is 'not viable'

The aquarium at Buchanhaven Boat Shed, which hosted species native to the local area, will not be reopening.

By Kevin McRoberts
Thursday, 29th April 2021, 7:00 am
The Boat Shed will continue to operate despite the closure of the aquarium.
The Boat Shed will continue to operate despite the closure of the aquarium.

The Buchanhaven Harbour SCIO board of trustees announced the closure after deciding it was too costly and citing a lack of volunteers to run it.

The board had been open to any proposals to keep the aquarium open, but chairman Alex Donaldson said there had been no viable business plans put forward.

The Boat Shed opened in June 2018, with the aquarium open in the summer months. It was last open in August 2019, as it was unable to open in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a sta tement on Facebook the board of trustees stated: “While the board appreciate the idea behind the aquarium, unfortunately due consideration was not given to the location from the sea, the cost of maintenance, and the running costs and resources to keep the aquarium open.

" Having looked at all the options the board has concluded that there is no other sustainable solution for the charity, and it is therefore with regret that we will not be reopen ing the aquarium.”

The board hopes to recoup some of the substantial investment by selling the aquarium, but as it was a bespoke build, that could prove difficult.

Mr Donaldson told the Buchanie: “Apart from it opening one year when it w as popular to start with, the numbers after the fanfare of opening seemed to die down. A lot of people in the town didn’t even seem to know it was there.

"We’ve done our figures on the aquarium and it just isn’t viable.

"It needed to be maintained – and it also needed people to run it during June, July and August when it was open to the public, but there was no one coming forward.

"We, as a board of trustees, have got to run it in the best interests of the charity, and if we are running it at a loss we are not doing that.”

Mr Donaldson stressed the Boat Shed was unaffected by this decision and would continue to be used as a community space for socialising and educational purposes.

He pointed out there were links established with the local school and there were plans to hold a number of community events and activities.