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Reminder of shipbuilding glory days on Moray coast to be knocked down

The shipyard in Buckie closed in the 1990s.
The shipyard in Buckie closed in the 1990s.

One of a Moray town’s remaining links to its shipbuilding past is poised to be bulldozed amid concerns it has become unsafe.

The former Jones and Herd and Mackenzie yards have stood on the Buckie coast for more than a century and was home to countless vessels being constructed before they took to sea as part of the town’s huge fishing fleet.

However, pieces have been spotted falling from the remaining structure for several months amid concerns that the entire building may soon collapse.

Moray Council had issued a dangerous building notice in order to ensure the site is safe.

And yesterday it was confirmed that the structure, which has stood since 1918, as well as former offices, will be knocked down following talks between authority officers and owners Kingfisher Marine.

Contractors Limehillock Quarries have already moved in on the site to ensure the area is safe with demolition of the cavernous structure expected to begin next week.

Buckie councillor Tim Eagle said: “Whilst the current building is not the memory some will have of its heyday when many boats were built from the site it remains an iconic building in Buckie.

“The site is visible from many areas in the town and is a reminder of the deep history and association with the sea that the community has.”

Buckie councillor Gordon Cowie added: “This area has been an eyesore for a long time. It’s good to see that it’s going to be getting improved and made safe.”

The boat yards were run in Buckie from 1918 and continued to build ships until the closure of the Ianstown sheds in 1995.

However, the firms continued as part of Buckie Shipyard Ltd after they were saved from closure by the Lithgows group until the yards shut for good in 2013 with the loss of 68 jobs.

Shipbuilding has since returned to the port after Macduff Shipyards bought a separate disused shed in 2017.

A spokesman for Kingfisher Marine said: “The owners are currently in discussion with Moray Council and it is their intention that the site will be redeveloped using innovative and sustainable approaches that drive transformation and regenerate and enhance this important and prominent part of Buckie.”

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