A project has set sail for a new marine learning centre at Mallaig.
West Highland College UHI has submitted a planning application for the Mallaig Harbour Learning Centre to be built at Mallaig Point industrial estate road.
The building will replace the outdated accommodation currently used at West Bay.
This project forms part of the first phase within the proposed masterplan for the redevelopment of Mallaig Harbour.
The education facilities will be primarily for shipping operations, maritime skills and RYA/MCA courses.
Initially the centre will cater for around 30 full time students, with provision for potential expansion should the requirement arise.
Being part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, there will be provision for distance learning and potential for “out of hours” community use of the facilities.
Located adjacent to the harbour, near the Fisherman’s Mission building, the proposed site is a focal point on the main routes into Mallaig from both the A830, or by ferry from the isles of Skye, Rum and Eigg.
Architects from Keppie Design say the centre has been designed to “estsablish a building that is fitting to the prominence of the site as a gateway into Mallaig”.
The design statement submitted to Highland Council says: “In developing this proposal for the Mallaig Harbour Learning Centre, we believe that we have not only produced a pragmatic and rational solution, but also created a building that students of the West Highland College will be excited to attend.
“This building will be a gateway into Mallaig and the masterplan redevelopment of the Harbour area; we are hopeful this can be a landmark that the local community can be proud of at the entrance to their town.”
Currently, the site is partially occupied by Mallaig Harbour Authority workshops which it is proposed to demolish, and an electrical sub-station which will be incorporated within the proposed development.
A portion of the site contains a concrete yard area on which the former Marine World building was located.
The ground is currently owned by the harbour authority, however, this will be acquired under a current agreement by the West Highland College prior to the proposed development commencing.