A Highland MSP has seen at first hand the significant progress made with the Staffin Harbour's enabling works, including the new access road improvements.
The new Staffin Harbour will be the biggest ever infrastructure project in the Taobh Sear and support key industries including fishing, aquaculture and marine tourism whilst creating opportunities for start-up businesses.
Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston, who is the Shadow Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise at the Scottish Parliament, visited Staffin on Thursday. Mr Halcro Johnston met the harbour project manager Malcolm Henry, SCT director Calum MacDonald, SCT's development officer Hugh Ross, and Staffin Campsite's Ally Young, who are all members of the harbour steering group.
Mr Halcro Johnston said he was aware of the significant changes facing island communities as he was brought up in Orkney and recognised how supporting existing jobs and creating new employment opportunities was crucial in sustaining rural areas like Staffin.
The 1-mile harbour road was delivered by contractors Eyre Plant Hire and work to provide electricity and water services to the harbour is also progressing.
SCT has been granted all the planning permissions required for the enabling works, main harbour development and extraction of material from Lealt. It is anticipated that a full marine licence will be approved imminently by Marine Scotland.
Staffin Community Trust has secured more than £2million from the Scottish Government funding, including the Fisheries Harbours Assistance grant, and is now investigating other sources of capital support.
A new breakwater will create a sheltered haven that can be used by local and visiting boats, all year round. The new slipway will be longer and wider allowing boats to operate at any state of the tide, and make it much safer for vehicles to access, while the existing slipway will remain in place.
The pontoons will provide local boats with safe berths that can be used 12 months of the year, and opportunities for visiting leisure craft to tie up for the night.
Skye Highland councillor John Finlayson also visited the harbour on Friday. The Staffin Harbour is included in the local authority's Skye and Raasay Future (SARF) Plan of key infrastructure projects. Highland Council owns the current slipway but has agreed to sell it to SCT so the area can be developed into a modern harbour owned by the community.