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£1.3m project to repair north-east harbour to begin today

The Railway Jetty after a partial collapse in June 2017.
The Railway Jetty after a partial collapse in June 2017.

A £1.3 million project to repair a damaged north-east harbour will begin today, nearly four years after a wall collapsed into the sea.

Aberdeenshire Council has appointed Lochshell Ltd to reinstate the railway jetty in Banff after it partly collapsed in 2017. The firm will also strengthen the east pier as part of the deal which has now been announced.

Construction is expected to begin on Monday, and the work should be finished by August.

The problems at the port were thrown into sharp focus in June 2017, when a section of the quayside crumbled into the sea following freak storms.

Temporary repairs were carried out but those working out of the small port at the time said it was a “disaster” for the community.

And they insisted it was “essential” that more lasting upgrades were carried out.

The local authority has since been looking into the best way of enhancing the port and has carried out various studies alongside experts.

Chairman of the Banff Harbour Advisory Committee, councillor John Cox, welcomed the move last night and voiced hopes it could help reshape the image of the port.

Mr Cox said: “I am sure this will be greatly appreciated by harbour users, the wider community and visitors to the area.

“Banff Harbour is a real asset for the town, providing facilities for many pleasure craft, hobby fishermen and commercial interests.

“Huge investment was made several years ago to convert the once-renowned ‘smelly harbour’ into a marina, therefore I look forward to the works progressing this year and safeguarding the safe use of our harbour for many years to come.”

Chairwoman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Banff and Buchan area committee, Doreen Mair, added: “It’s tremendous to see such a significant project being undertaken at Banff.”

Banff Harbour was constructed in 1625, when rocks were originally cleared from the coastline to open up a haven for vessels.

Boats still fish out of the port on a small scale almost 400 years later but today is primarily used for small pleasure crafts.

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