July 2021

Funding Summit Meeting 2 July
A Funding Summit Meeting was held with representatives of The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Crown Estate Scotland, our MSP Kate Forbes and directors of Thomas Telford Corpach Marina.

The purpose of the meeting was to update all organisations with a key interest in seeing the marina opening in April 2022, the 200th anniversary of the opening of The Caledonian Canal.  All delegates who attended this meeting are now fully aware that the contract for the marina construction needs to be in place by the end of September 2021 to fulfil this objective. There is now a collective recognition that a partnership of all organisations must work towards the successful completion of this £3.5m community led project.

Corpach Marina is designed to deliver community and economic benefit by Awakening the Giant – the Scottish Government’s recognition that marine tourism is a key contributor to the Scottish economy.

There are now 66 boat owners interested in a berth in Thomas Telford Corpach Marina

Marina Facilities Building and car park

The Marina Facilities Building is nearing completion and it is expected owners Caol Regeneration Company, will take over the building in early August. Work continues on the car park with the installation of an automated barrier imminent. Tarmac surfacing  is expected to begin soon on the pedestrian pavement, the bell-mouth of the car park and the accessible car parking spaces in front of the building entrance. There have  been several delays, including our contractor GCF waiting for agreement from Scottish Canals to repair their two-story building foundations.

An Cala Coffee Shop
A decision to open the coffee shop in August is also imminent.

April 2021

The marina facilities building is progressing well and our contractors should be off site by mid June. The Directors of CRC and TTCM are discussing options for opening the slipway and coffee shop to members of the public in June or July, subject to completion of our Planning Permission and commercial viability.

Where’s the marina ?

There is no funding in place to get the floating marina contract started and this is the entire purpose of the project – to deliver community and economic benefit with a brand new 40 berth marina.

Announcements will be made during June so watch this space.

22 February 2021

Marina Facilities Building and coffee shop progressing well. Photo opposite shows marina car park and slipway and new building taking shape behind the existing two-storey Scottish Canals building.
For full details read our latest Press Release.

Thomas Telford Corpach Marina now has a waiting list of 55 boat owners interested in a marina berth in Fort William.

December 2020

After a number of delays to commencement of works at the beginning the year, due to the Covid-19 restrictions, we are delighted to be able to end the year by announcing completion of phase 1 of the project.

Phase 1 Civil Engineering and Marine works was due to start on site in early Spring but were delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, eventually getting underway in July.   The car park and slipway are now complete, the works included:

  • Diverting the existing burn through a 100m long culvert, 
  • Dredging the basin for the new marina, and 
  • Reclaiming land using the dredged material placed behind rock armour shore protection.  

Phase 2 is the construction of the new marina facilities building which started on site last week. The contract was awarded to local contractor, GCF Joiners & Contractors, and is due to be completed in Spring 2021. 

We are still working to close the funding gap for Phase 3, the construction of the breakwaters, pontoons and linkspan, having submitted an expression of interest in the Highland Coastal Communities fund and are currently investigating other potential funding sources. 

Looking forward we are excited about the local community seeing the benefits of this fantastic facility which will include:

• Collaboration with WHC UHI; Supporting students on the Adventure Tourism courses.

• 14 FTE Creation of new jobs both directly (marina and café) and indirectly as well as the social enterprise elements of the project which we hope will provide much needed vocational training and supported employment for people in the area.

• Increasing overnight visitor stays to the area leading to stimulating development and further investment

• Encouraging healthy lifestyles, by offering access to the water, outdoor marine based sports, recreation and activities, with 3 primary schools within walking distance

• Creating a focal point for the community (no café/coffee shop in Corpach), encouraging more walking and cycling by providing a destination to visit.

As we enter 2021, we look forward to welcoming you to the Thomas Telford Corpach Marina this year!

8 August

George Leslie Ltd making great progress on Thomas Telford Corpach Marina. Starting to form the slipway and more precast units now in place. Dredging barge scheduled to be in place next week.

Aerial Photo: DigitalStudio, Fort William, 8 Aug, 2020

July 27th

Kate Forbes MSP, Finance Secretary,  visits Fort William’s marina under construction at the entrance to the Caledonian Canal.

Kate Forbes joined directors of Caol Regeneration Company, Cllr Ben Thomson and contractors to take a look at progress on the marina at Corpach. The contractor is currently installing the concrete culvert into the site. The car park will be built on top of this huge drainage container.

With final funding in place by the end of September the marina could be open for business in April 2021.
Photo: Iain Ferguson

July 2020


George Leslie Ltd gets started on Phase 1 of the marina project.

Work began on the Thomas Telford Corpach Marina as June came to an end, and a new and exciting civil engineering project got off the ground after extensive delays and set-backs – including COVID-19.
Directors of CRC, Thomas Telford Corpach Marina Ltd, and project consultants NorthernLight Ltd are delighted to see machines and men on the beach at Corpach preparing the ground for a new car park and slipway as Phase 1 begins. The photo opposite was taken just after low-water on Thursday 9 July.

Watch this space as the project progresses along its 19 week schedule of works.

May 2020
Just as we were excited about getting the project started Corona Virus impacted on the UK. We expect that as soon as the lockdown is relaxed, and construction in the UK can restart, our contractor will get mobilised in June. Our schedule is that Phase 1 and 2 will be completed by December 2020 or early 2021.

February 2020
After a very long 2019, Caol Regeneration Company are delighted to announce the award of a £1.48M contract to George Leslie Ltd for the construction of Phase 1 of Thomas Telford Corpach Marina on Loch Linnhe, Fort William.
Download our Press Release for full details.

July 2019
Marina Facilities Building

Thomas Telford Corpach Marina (CRC) completed a new Planning Application with Highland Council on Friday 26 July 2019, for a new marina facilities building which will provide showers, toilets, laundry and marina reception/coffee shop. Details about the new building, which will be wholly owned by Caol Regeneration Company, can be found at Highland.gov.uk

Thomas Telford Corpach Marina has recently concluded a two year £50,000 programme to retain project managers Northern Light Consultancy Ltd. The main funder was EU LEADER, with match funding supplied by HIE, Highland Council, Scottish Canals and Crown Estates Scotland. The main aims of the commission were to raise the necessary capital to build the marina, to manage procurement of contractors and to then monitor contract delivery. These aims were not fully completed due to substantial challenges in securing public and charitable funds at a time of austerity, and because of some wholly unforeseeable external delays in the development. However the work was carried out to a highly professional standard and the project now stands on the brink of delivery. More details can be found in the attached report document.

May 2019
Since January 2019 we have experienced a totally unforeseen delay in our project and have had to make changes to our plans. We are optimistic that work on the car park, dredging and slipway will now begin in July. As a result we do not expect to open the marina until March/April 2020 to celebrate the Year of the Sea.

September 2018
Project out to tender to interested contractors. Funding applications continuing.

June 2018
SSE awards Thomas Telford Corpach Marina £100,000 from its Highland Sustainable Development fund.

Several other grant funds are in the pipeline and we expect to have these confirmed as the summer progresses. Procurement work is underway and interested contractors with experience in this type of civil engineering are being invited to tender.

South West Environmental (ENTRUST Scottish Landfill Comm Trust Fund) awards Thomas Telford Corpach Marina £10,000

March 2018
Project managers NorthernLight hard work pays off !  Thomas Telford Corpach Marina awarded £1,465,000 towards cost of building marina project with a Scottish Government Regeneration Fund grant

Full details in our Press Release here.

Sail Scotland Marine Tourism Conference comes to Fort William – 13 March.

February 2018

Our project managers NorthernLight, continue their work with several funding applications in hand. We expect to hear about the Scottish Government Regeneration Fund application before the end of February.

January 2018
Marine Scotland have provided Thomas Telford Corpach Marina with the necessary marine licenses for the construction of the floating breakwater and pontoons of the marina and the necessary dredging work.

December 2017
Through collaboration with West Highland College UHI, a student has been given the opportunity to undertake a work placement with the team at Northern Light Consulting. Euan Fundingsland, a second-year Marine and Coastal Tourism Student (BAHons), will be contributing to the Corpach Marina Project from December 2017 to April 2018. This opportunity will provide the student with valuable commercial experience in the industry relevant to the marine tourism sector, whilst providing the team with a new perspective on the project. This will trigger a supply of future students wishing to either gain experience through work placement or paid employment once the marina project has been completed.

“It’s really important to us that students get real life experience in the sector, as well as classroom input.  This collaboration is a fantastic opportunity.  Well done Euan for getting fully involved”
Alex Williams, Programme Leader, BA (Hons) Marine and Coastal Tourism, West Highland College UHI

September 2017
Thomas Telford Corpach Marina is actively working towards funding the project through various Government funding agencies. In October we successfully passed onto Stage 2 for the Scottish Government Regeneration Grant Funding.

September 2017 – Marine Scotland License application
Thomas Telford Corpach Marina is working through the process of gaining a license to put the marina into the sea.

17 May 2017   – Planning Permission granted
The Highland Council have granted Thomas Telford Corpach Marina Planning Permission for the construction of a car park and public slipway, and refurbishment of existing Caledonian Canal buildings to provide marina facilities for local and visiting yachts and motor vessels. Full details about Planning Permission can be found here:

http://wam.highland.gov.uk/wam/ – insert application reference 16/04706/FUL into the search box.

Marine Scotland Licence application
The process to obtain a Marine Scotland licence for the construction of the pontoons and breakwater of the actual sea-based marina began a number of weeks ago and this will be progressing over the next 14 weeks. There will be further public consultations of the plans.

Northern Light – Project Managers
Local company Northern Light, were awarded a contract by Caol Regeneration Company – Thomas Telford Corpach Marina in February to start the process of identifying sources of public funding from organisations such as The Big Lottery Fund etc. Northern Light will also be involved in the tendering process for construction contractors as the project moves forward.

30 January 2017
With funding from Leader a Scottish company Northern Light have been awarded a contract as Project Managers to lead on funding applications, to procure contractors to deliver the project and to oversee the delivery of all contracts within budget and on time. This contract commences on 1 February 2017. You can view our current marina layout here.

Planning Application process is nearing completion and we expect to announce an outcome soon.

18 October 2016
Planning Application was lodged by our consulting engineers  with The Highland Council on 17 October and should be available for public viewing in due course. Since the last update we have been consulting with more local residents and businesses in the Corpach area to discuss our plans.

The steering Group met with Caol Community Council at their meeting on the evening of 17 October.

6 October 2016
Public Consultation in connection with a Marine Licence application to Marine Scotland.
There will be a public consultation in Killmallie Community Centre between 3.30 – and 6.30pm. Members of the public and any organisations interested are welcome to drop in at any time during the period outlined above.

Update September 2016
The project continues to progress and we are now about to submit Planning Application to The Highland Council. Our designs and concepts have been modified to reduce dredging requirements and to reduce the size of the car park. The marina pontoons are now planned to be located further west and will be accessed by secured gangway from the car park. Detailed drawings of the rejuvenation of Scottish Canal buildings have been prepared showing a new reception, new office and mess for Scottish Canal staff, new toilets and shower facilities, a reception with small cafe and shop. The public slipway into Loch Linnhe has been carefully considered for all weather access into the sea.

Brief Update on Thomas Telford Corpach Marina, February 2016
Preparatory work for the Corpach Marina project has been given a boost in the last month or so with confirmation of a £40,000 funding package; the project group are grateful to HIE, the Highland Council, Scottish Canals and The Crown Estate for providing this finance and continuing their commitment to our goals. We are now in a position to press ahead with applications for a Marine Scotland licence and planning consent, and have retained Arch Henderson, consulting engineers,  to assist us in this task.

During the winter, we have worked closely with Gael Force Engineering, a successful Highland company, to further shape our layout plans for the marina. Scottish Canals have also been actively involved in this process. The revised designs will take account of hydrographic and topographic surveys conducted last year, which demonstrated the need to move the floating infrastructure into deeper water. We have also received very helpful feedback from the Kilmallie Community Council and others which we are working to reflect in the new design, for example the scale of the project is likely to be smaller, with around 60 berths instead of 80. The public slipway will remain a key feature. It is our intention to consult widely on this final scheme in the very near future. The marina committee continues to meet monthly and to press ahead enthusiastically with the project.

October 2015

Thomas Telford Corpach Marina meets with Gael Force Engineering (Highland manufacturer of proven marina systems) who are reviewing the marina design based on our recent engineering surveys. A new layout taking into consideration all issues, especially the views of Scottish Canals, will be available for wider consultation by end of November

Committee members have met with key funders in advance of the next phase of preparatory works

Thomas Telford Corpach Marina are consulting with local businesses. Reactions so far have been positive, here is one example:

Corpach Boat Building Company
“There is no doubt that a marina by the Corpach Canal basin would be good for the local community, good for local boat users, and good for visiting yachts.

Over the 20 years plus that we have been in business in Corpach, we have seen an increasing number of yachts visiting from Scandinavia and the  continent on their way to or from the west coast.  A marina would encourage more yachts to stay and visit Corpach and Fort William and use the facility for crew changes enabling visitors to join or leave a vessel in Corpach.

For a number of years we have been attending yachts in the canal who are on transit and have encountered mechanical problems. A marina would potentially increase this level of business and enable us to offer a dedicated service to leisure boat users visiting or resident in Lochaber.

Corpach Boatbuilding Company fully support the development of a marina facility in Corpach.
Don Hind, Managing Director

September 2015

Funding requests
We are submitting requests to a number of bodies, including HIE, for additional funding to take the project to a pre-construction fully consented stage. This is an essential prerequisite to the capital funding applications for a design and build contract.

Hydrography and topography reports
These have now been completed and the results have been assessed by our consulting engineers. Initial indications are that the original concept design, as set out in the 2011 Yachting Worldwide study, would mean very extensive rock and silt removal/dredging – at a cost likely to far exceed the original budget.  In order to mitigate this, we are examining with Scottish Canals and Gael Force Marine whether the marina design can be altered with a move further out from the shore, possibly with a reduced number of berths. Pending the outcome of this critical work, our applications for Planning Consent and a Marine Scotland licence have been put on hold.

A meeting has recently taken place with the LEADER project manager, Martin Culbertson, and we are clear on the timescales and approach for a funding application to support project management services. This process will begin next month with an Expression of Interest, and we are hopeful that an approval might be forthcoming by the late Spring of next year.

Fort William Marina & Shoreline Association
A meeting was had with the promoters of the Fort William Marina & Shoreline Association, who are focussed initially on the creation of a cruise-liner berthing facility in the vicinity of the West End car park, though with wider long term aims. Both organisations agreed that our projects were complementary and non-competitive to each other. Our joint statement is as follows:

“Thomas Telford Corpach Marina group and the Fort William Marina & Shoreline Association met on 3rd September to review their proposals for marine tourism in the area.  Corpach Marina is focussed on providing a public access slipway and attractive marina in Corpach.  The FWMSA is focussed on providing safe facilities for cruise ship companies to gain better access to the shore and to the amenities of Fort William and the surrounding area.  Both projects fit very well with the recently published Marine Tourism Strategy for Scotland.  We have seen the strengths of our respective projects and are agreed that they are complementary projects.  We are clear that we will focus on our own objectives, but our united aim is to develop facilities for visitors to the Fort William and Lochaber area, and for the whole community to enjoy and benefit from.”

August 2015
Westminster and Scottish Parliament MPs

We had a very positive meeting with Dave Thompson MSP and Ian Blackford MP, to inform them of our proposals and to seek their support as we move forward. In addition, we continue to ensure that the project is represented at the important Marine Tourism cross-party group, which meets quarterly at the Scottish Parliament under the chairmanship of Stuart McMillan MSP. This committee is the sponsor of the recently published Marine Tourism Strategy for Scotland, with which our project is an excellent fit.

July 2015
During the summer, tenders were sought and contracts let to firms specialising in engineering surveys. This work included mapping the hydrography and topography of the seabed and foreshore in the target area.

Earlier achievements in 2015

  • Signing a local management agreement (LMA) with Crown Estates, governing rights to the necessary seabed area for the next 5 years

    Agreeing heads of terms on 50-year leases with the three landowners involved

  • Consulting widely with local community councils, the Highland Council, and potential partners in the project such as HIE, Scottish Canals, the Crown Estates, VisitScotland, Lochaber Chamber, etc

  • Forming a not for profit company, limited by guarantee, which will be activated when the project is commissioned

  • Commissioning consulting engineers to advise on the required technical approach

  • Publishing a website to ensure that up to date information on the project is publicly accessible