Marina Projects, the marine leisure sector specialists, has announced the next stage in its development of James Watt Dock Marina in Greenock, Scotland. In February 2017, Marina Projects successfully tendered a bid to take over operation of James Watt Dock Marina on a 60-year lease. The lease required that certain infrastructural targets were met, one of which is the development of a modern administration building.

The new administration building, which is forecast to cost around £1.25 million, has been penned by Richard Robb Architects and is currently pending planning approval by the Inverclyde Council. The hope is that the development of the administration building will aid in the general modernisation of the marina and thereby encourage superyacht clientele to visit the Scottish marina.

The building will provide an operational office for the marina together with new facilities for the marina customers that will replace the existing portacabin facilities. A bespoke bistro café and three retail and office units have been incorporated into the design. It is expected that the building will be completed by 2020.

“When we tendered for the marina our commitment was to install 40 new berths in 2017, of which we have already installed 10, with a further 30 going in in November,” explains Jeff Houlgrave, business development manager at Marina Projects. “The second commitment was to build the administration building. The long-term plan is to bring the whole facility up to scratch in order to make it not only superyacht accessible, but superyacht viable.”

According to Houlgrave, the long-term plan is to double the size of the marina overtime by expanding into the marina opposite James Watt Dock. The administration building, at this point, will become a central, double-sided, building between the two halves of the marina. The building itself is to be built out of brick to complement the grade-one listed historic sugar sheds at the marina.

At present, James Watt Dock is the only marina in the area that is able to host superyachts at the larger end of the spectrum. With 160 berths currently available, the largest being able to accommodate vessels up to 90m in length, James Watt Dock has become a mainstay of the Scottish superyacht industry – an industry with growth potential.

“The area is steeped in heritage and has truly beautiful cruising grounds, the only drawback being the unpredictable British weather,” continues Houlgrave. “However, the real attraction of the area for superyacht owners is golf and whisky, in that order, followed by the beautiful scenery.”

Marina Projects’ investment in the James Watt Dock facility is a clear indication of the potential strength of the Scottish market and is, perhaps, indicative of the UK’s yachting potential, beyond London and the UK’s service industry.


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