Plans to build a new canal marina in Winchburgh have been given the green light from Historic Environment Scotland, meaning that work will be able to commence in early 2020.
This is an important step forward for the project which is being managed by Winchburgh Developments Limited, after it was announced earlier this year that the contract for the new marina had been agreed with Scottish Canals.
The Union Canal is listed as a ‘scheduled monument’, meaning it is a site of historic importance. Consent has now been given for the necessary works, which will require modifications to the Union Canal to allow entry to the marina.
The new canal marina, which includes 20 marina berths and a further 29 canal moorings, will bring enhanced public access to the canal at Winchburgh, encouraging ongoing use and enjoyment of the canal both to the local community and canal users.
It will also deliver new residential and commercial space which is already attracting interest from homebuilders and restaurant operators.
John Hamilton, CEO, Winchburgh Developments Ltd said: “The new canal marina is central to the Winchburgh masterplan, enhancing the town centre environment and connecting the new greenspaces via a network of public cycle paths and walkways.
“Overlooking the marina will be new commercial and residential spaces, providing Winchburgh with exceptional leisure space that few towns in Scotland are able to boast, and we’re sure this will become a great asset for the area.”
Catherine Topley, CEO, Scottish Canals said: “The Winchburgh canal marina will bring great benefits to the local community and canal users in Scotland.
“It is fitting, that as we approach the 200th anniversary of the completion of the Union Canal, we will also be able to welcome this new marina to Winchburgh, expanding its rich history.”
To mark the Historic Scotland approval, all 375 pupils from both Holy Family Primary School and Winchburgh Primary School were delighted to be invited to take part in a moment of social history within Winchburgh as they formed a giant “M” within what will shortly become the basin of the new Winchburgh Marina.
Kevin McCabe, acting headteacher, Holy Family Primary School, commented: “We were all very excited to join together and take part in an event which I’m sure our children will remember well into adulthood.”
Ian Harvey, headteacher, Winchburgh Primary School, added: “This was a fantastic, once in a lifetime opportunity for us to bring teaching and learning about our local area to life.”
The Union Canal is lasting testament to the ambition and skill of Georgian civil engineering.
Designed by the noted Scots engineer, Hugh Baird, and built between 1818 and 1823, its continuous watercourse, over 31 miles long, was without need of a single lock.
The Winchburgh masterplan is expected to create at least 3,450 new homes in the area including 700 affordable houses, 400 of which will be for social rent.
New infrastructure will include state-of-the-art schools, a new town centre, improved transport links, the new marina, a district park and a minimum of 35 acres of employment land.