Council to charge for filming at harbours

The local authority has agreed to introduce a 300 per day charge at all seven of its harbours including Rosehearty for location and facility usage
The local authority has agreed to introduce a 300 per day charge at all seven of its harbours including Rosehearty for location and facility usage

Aberdeenshire Council is hoping to tap into the lucrative movie business by charging a fee for filming at its harbours.

It has now agreed to introduce a £300 per day charge at all seven of its harbours for location and facility usage.

A number of films and adverts have been filmed across the authority’s harbours over the years, but it had no method of charging for the privilege.

All harbour advisory committees are in agreement with the recommendation which was rubber-stamped by the authority’s Infrastructure Services Committee on Thursday.

Councillor Mark Findlater, who himself appeared as an extra in the recent remake of Whisky Galore, welcomed the initiative.

He said the area boasted a “huge number of beautiful harbours” under the council’s control which were sure to attract continued interest among filmmakers and said it was a positive move to generate income.

Portsoy was the principal film location for Gillies MacKinnon’s 2016 remake of Whisky Galore, while Stonemouth was shot at Macduff in 2014 and Buckie featured in an episode of 1987 cult hit Tutti Frutti.

Meanwhile, harbour users are to face a 3.5 % increase in rates and dues for the coming financial year.

The cost of inflation rise will see the likes of a six-month fee for a 7m traditional berth at Stonehaven with no water supply increasing by £5.14 from £146.76 to £151.90

A 12-month fee for an 8m serviced pontoon berth in Banff Harbour Marina increases by £42.35 from £1209.96 to £1,252.35.

The weekly rate for a typical commercial fishing vessel (17-22m

length overall) laid up at Macduff Harbour increases by £3.38 from

£96.71 to £100.09.

Banff Harbour users will face a £25 charge to cover the £2,100 cost of replacement ladders on the East Pier.

Councillor John Cox also urged the council to do everything it could to keep Banff Harbour a vibrant facility for all to enjoy after a multi-million investment.

He commented: “If the council is going to start charging dues for boat users there has to be a condition built in that Banff Harbour doesn’t become a port where old vessels come along and die and are just left there.”

He said boats should not just be left static and that there had to be “some activity” – a system which worked well in other ports.

The eagerly-awaited new ice factory at Macduff will see users charged £60 per tonne of ice, while a £20 garbage charge will be introduced in line with fees in place at Fraserburgh Harbour and Buckie Harbour.

Councillors heard it had cost the harbour service just over £10,000 in the last year to dispose of waste generated from vessels at Macduff.

With approximately 340 vessel entries per year, that equates to a charge of £29.50 to recover the costs, but the £20 fee will be reviewed in 2021/22 to reflect actual costs incurred in 2019/20.