Funding bid is prepared for Berwick pontoons plan

The Chandlery in Berwick quayside
The Chandlery in Berwick quayside

Town councillors have given their backing to a £300,000 funding bid for floating pontoons for visiting yachts on Berwick quayside.

An application will be submitted to the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund, which funded a similar scheme in Eyemouth and the £2million repair scheme on Tweed Dock’s jetty.

The bid has the backing of Berwick Chamber of Trade and other interested parties but still requires support from the town’s coastal communities team.

Town clerk Gareth Davies has also expressed reservations as to whether the application in its current guise meets the funding criteria.

“They have completed an application form but my view is still that the application does not meet all the criteria, in particular the specification that an application for capital funding needs technical drawings, costings and all the elements in place,” he told full council last week.

He said a moorings management group still needed to be formed because when the river is in spate it would not be possible to use the pontoons.

The town council had already agreed to the scheme in principle and invested £10,000 in a feasibility study which established it was possible to have pontoons on the quayside.

Coun Karin Graham said: “I don’t agree with the clerk. The bid is way ahead of lots of others. It’s strong with good information. It’s a win-win for Berwick. It will create jobs, and bring money into the town, just as similar schemes have in Eyemouth and Amble.”

Coun Alex Gibson, however, still has reservations.

“The waters on that side of the river are very hostile,” he said. “It could work but I would not want my name put against it.”

Members voted 9-2 in favour of the scheme.