Building a deep-water port in Stornoway harbour is a flagship development in a 20
year vision devised to dramatically improve Stornoway’s economic future.
Radical harbour developments essentially seeks to update mainly 100-year-old infrastructure
and accommodate modern ships and industries.
The deep water port plan proposes:
• A RoRo terminal to provide back-up to the existing linkspan on Pier 3, and support
a second ferry service focussing on freight.
• An extensive industrial base for planned onshore wind projects and future offshore
wind, wave and tidal energy schemes as well as oil and gas developments in the Atlantic.
• A cruise berth for vessels up to 330 metres in length, bus marshalling area for
passengers and access into Lews Castle grounds via a new footbridge.
• Space for relocating the oil terminal and storage tanks away from town.
• Bulk cargo handling and storage, warehousing
Stornoway is an established port on the cruise circuit, attracting 66 ships in 2016.
However, it attracts relatively few large cruise vessels, as those over 156 metres
long cannot berth alongside, and passengers are brought ashore by small boat.
To maintain and grow the cruise market, Stornoway needs a facility for berthing cruise
ships of 330 metres or more.
This would attract an additional 20-25 vessels a year and increasing passenger visits
to the levels experienced in Orkney and Shetland, and could eventually bring up to
an additional £4 million a year into the local economy.
The port masterplan also identifies a shortage of yacht berths and amenities constraining
potential growth in marine tourism.
The port has a popular marina that was expanded in 2014 and can now take 80 yachts.
But the berths filled up soon after they were installed and there is now a shortage
of space during the summer.
To maintain its share of the growing yachting sector, Stornoway needs more berths
and other facilities.
It is estimated that an additional 100 berths could be filled in the short to medium
Installing a new marine at Newton and redeveloping the Goat Island boatyard could
cost £10 million.
The boatyard at Goat Island carries out repairs and maintenance on fishing boats
and leisure craft, but needs additional capability such as a covered slipway and
Initially there were suggestions for a third marina - in Sandwick Bay - but these
proposals have been ditched for the moment.
Other important improvements to facilities in the harbour, such as pontoons for the
fishermen, landscaping, and ferry access road improvements are also included.
The port authority longer term plans also proposes creating a lagoon between Cromwell
Street quay and the YM bridge with a tidal sill bridge would give a shorter route
to the Lews Castle plus offer a good sheltered environment for youth activities like
dinghy training and canoeing.
A stretch of the harbour from the car sales garage to the present YM bridge would
be partially filled in.
Multi-million pound Stornoway harbour redevelopment plan