06 February 2024

Green Storm vessel first to use new and improved cradle at Macduff Harbour

Recent investment to widen one of the cradles at Macduff Harbour from 6 metres to 10.7 metres has paved the way for an increase in business activity.

The Green Storm – a twin-hulled boat measuring 10.4 metres in width – was the first vessel over 10 metres to use the upgraded cradle.

Prior to the upgrade, slipway activity was confined to the width of the cradles.

The commercial project has been a collaborative effort between Aberdeenshire Council and Macduff Shipyards aimed at providing for the ever-increasing size and draft of ships and ensuring their serviceability in the north port.

Investment has opened up new market opportunities across all sectors, supporting increased business activity while safeguarding opportunities for long-term development and ensuring the harbour and local economy do not suffer medium and long-term constraints due to physical limitations.

Macduff remains one of very few remaining working harbours with a vibrant shipbuilding operation in Scotland and not only is this a real source of interest for visitors, but there is a great sense of pride among harbour users and local residents.

Macduff Shipyards, which construct steel-hulled and wooden boats for both the UK and overseas markets, are an important local employer within the manufacturing industry.

The firm’s John Watt said: “The harbour continues to play a key role in driving both local and regional economic activity for the area, but such investment in our infrastructure remains vital if we are to support the development of the maritime industry in Macduff to adapt to technological developments and the ever-increasing size of ships.”

Cllr Doreen Mair, chair of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee, added: “Thanks to this very welcome investment we now have the potential to create additional employment within Macduff through the diversification, improvements and increased sustainability of our operations.”

Cllr Alan Turner, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “It’s tremendous to see combined financial investment from both the Banff and Buchan Coastal Communities Fund and our regeneration budget being put to such excellent use at Macduff Harbour and I have every confidence that this increased cradle capacity will help us diversify our services in the future, in particular providing greater flexibility in supporting the tourism sector.”