Boost as Government agree to meet part of Lossiemouth’s storm damages

Harbour wall breached.

Fears that Moray Council would need to foot the entire £500,000 repairs bill for the sea wall at Lossiemouth’s Station Park has proven unfounded with the Scottish Government confirming they will pay 50% of the bill.

Extensive damage was caused when the wall was breached during a weekend of unusual sea conditions that caused turmoil all along the Moray coastline in December last year.

Lossiemouth was particularly hard hit when the sea wall was breached, causing damage to Station Park and spreading debris all along the promenade.  Dozens of local volunteers turned out to clear the debris while a temporary repair was undertaken on the 65-foot section of the wall that had been damaged.

In June, Moray Council put a tender out on the repairs and allocated the necessary funding in full after being advised by officials that it was “unlikely” they would receive any assistance from the Scottish Government.

However, members of the economic development committee will learn this week that the Scottish Government will meet at least half the costs.

In a written report to the committee, quality management systems official Nichola Smith wrote: “The government has agreed to fund 50% of eligible costs with details of the final amount of financial assistance to be confirmed.”

Moray’s MSP, Richard Lochhead, acting in his role as Cabinet Secretary in the Scottish Government, visited Lossiemouth the morning after the storm to see for himself the damage caused before visiting other parts of the North East coast where damage was reported.

He said at the time: “The key is to assess the damage and make sure that the sea walls and the rest of the infrastructure is safe should any storms happen in the near future, and of course repair the damage.

“That is why I’m visiting Lossiemouth in my role as Cabinet Secretary and other ports along the coast while other ministers are visiting other ports affected by this storm.”

Leader of Moray Council, Allan Wright, subsequently wrote to Finance Minister John Swinney seeking assistance with the repairs.  He said: “We warmly welcome the news that the government is going to pay 50% of the costs for the wall.  The council has a good working relationship with the Scottish Government.”

It is hoped that the wall will be repaired by the end of the year.

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