South West Mull and Iona Development are working in partnership with the Sound of Iona Harbours Committee to develop the pier areas in Fionnphort and Iona.
Our vision for the pier areas is for them to be a destination in their own right and to provide the catalyst for wider regeneration and revitalisation of the surrounding areas. The vision includes the following objectives:
- creating safer landing facilities for tourists, fishermen and ferrymen who currently require to use undeveloped jetties at either side and which provide only primitive forms of landing facility and provide no berthing facilities;
- developing the marine heritage of the Sound in order to support higher forms of tourism activity. Currently the facilities at either side do not allow for higher forms of tourism services, thus holding back businesses in the Sound from fully benefiting from heritage and eco-tourism;
- improving the local economy by providing a wider range of facilities which build on the existing maritime activities. Local ambitions exist to develop marine activities and fish processing but these are held back by lack of suitable premises;
- increasing the attractiveness of the pier areas for visitors and local users. Visitors see the pier areas as places to pass through rather than as preferred destinations. Increasing the attractiveness of the piers environment will facilitate longer stays;
- support the longer term growth in population within the settlements by developing the infrastructure. New port developments will create an environment more conducive to wider development of the area with the prospect of new family housing developments downstream.
Sound of Iona Harbours Committee was awarded funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and LEADER, in 2013, to commission a consultant to carry out a master planning exercise for the pier and surrounding areas on both sides of the Sound of Iona. After the appropriate tendering process Sinclair Knight and Mertz were the company commissioned to create the plan.
The overall objective of the master plan is to contribute to the wider regeneration and revitalisation of the settlements on either side of the Sound and takes into account the five objectives of the Sound of Iona Harbours Committee as listed above. The master plan lays out 12 development concepts which are outline in nature and are intended to inform thinking and priorities at this stage.