New body to push Scotland as a boating destination

Next Wednesday 27 February sees the launch of the Scottish Boating Alliance (SBA) in the Scottish Parliament.

The Alliance is a coalition of organisations seeking to highlight the positive impact of the leisure marine sector in Scotland.

“We aim to work closely with legislators and policy makers to ensure boating is both protected and encouraged,” the team behind it say.

The launch is being supported by Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill MSP, himself a keen boater.

Statistics show more than 230,000 people participate in some form of waterborne recreation each year in Scotland.

The country boasts 300 boatyards and specialist marine companies employing several thousand people.

Last year, the Scottish marine industry reported revenues of £98.9m and recent reports indicate that the economic contribution to the whole of Scotland could be in the region of £270m per annum, the Alliance say.

The SBA will be looking for change on a number of issues and will be concentrating on three initial goals:

1. The need for greater input from Government bodies into the promotion of Scotland to British and overseas visitors as a destination for waterborne recreation;

2. Better support from educational establishments for training and skills in the marine industry;

3. A simplified coastal planning regime with more consultation from the Government and from planners.

David Wilkie, President of the British Marine Federation Scotland, a founding member of the Scottish Boating Alliance says: “The formation of the SBA enables the leisure marine industry to highlight the significant economic and social benefits of boating to Scotland.

“We look forward to working positively with Government and policy makers over the coming months to promote further growth.”

Hugh Henderson, Chairman of the Royal Yachting Association Scotland, and a founding member of the SBA adds: “Through this new alliance we hope to further highlight the leisure opportunities presented by all forms of waterborne activity.”

Jim Mather MSP, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, says: “As a passionate believer in Scotland’s potential to attract many more yachting and boating enthusiasts to our waters, I support the launch of the SBA as a forum for championing the key role boating plays in both attracting visitors to Scotland and in promoting healthy lifestyles.

“I wish the alliance well in their efforts to promote the recreational boating and leisure marine sectors.”

The Scottish Boating Alliance is made up of the following partner
organisations: British Marine Federation Scotland, The Royal Yachting Association Scotland, The Scottish Canoe Association, The Scottish Inland Waterways Association, British Waterways Scotland and The Green Blue.