A Moray fishing village is receiving a very healthy boost from the fuel tank installed at its harbour six months ago.
After years of hard work and funding applications from local fishermen, a £30,000 tank was put in at Burghead harbour.
The hope was that it would allow trawlermen 24/7 access to fuel and gives them more freedom of movement.
And since its installation in October, fishing boats have filled up on 127,000 litres – a higher figure than was first imagined.
Hamish McPherson, chairman of the Burghead and Hopeman branch of the Scottish White Fish Association, insisted that everyone in the village believed that the tank had been a huge boon to the harbour.
He said: “The feedback I’ve received so far is that this tanker is the biggest thing to happen to the harbour. It has been a huge success so far.
“36 vessels have signed up the service and now have key fobs that they can use to access the fuel at an time.
“In the first five months, 127,000 litres of fuel has been used. Considering this has been the flat period, during the winter times, it has been an absolutely fantastic boom.”
Fishermen from as far afield as Wick and the Firth of Forth have arrived in Burghead to use the tank, the only such 24/7 facility in Moray.
It is the first time in 35 years that boats have been able to refuel at their own convenience in the fishing village.
Funding for the tank came from The Highland and Moray Fisheries Local Action Groups under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
That funding was supplemented by the fishermen’s own fundraising efforts.
Mr McPherson is expecting the harbour to become even busier as the squid season begins in the summer.
He said: “A lot of hard work has gone into this. It was a long and drawn-out process and there were a couple of times when I even thought about giving up.
“In the end, it has all been well worth it and the whole village is reaping the benefits.
“The future of fishing in Burghead looks much brighter as we are now bringing in boats that would not otherwise have come here.”