The positive impacts on health, employment and economic activity generated from private boat moorings has been analysed in a new report from Crown Estate Scotland.
It details how the equivalent of 445 full-time equivalent jobs are supported by the activity generated from owners of private moorings licensed by Crown Estate Scotland.
In addition to economic benefits, the study highlights the part played by boat-based activities in improving people’s mental health, as well as encouraging physical activity and greater social interaction amongst communities, particularly where moorings managed are by voluntary Mooring Associations.
The benefits of spending time in Blue Spaces - environments which feature water prominently - is highlighted by survey respondents, with 78% saying that sailing helps them keep fit. An even higher proportion highlighted the benefits to mental wellbeing, with 95% saying that sailing helps them to relax.
The survey noted an eight percent drop in the number of Mooring Association moorings in 2020, attributable to the effects of COVID-19. This has since seen a partial recovery of four percent.
The report makes several recommendations aimed at increasing participation in boating and sailing and to help communities benefit from increased economic activity. These include:
- Gathering data on mooring capacity to help make the most of the limited seabed resource and help more people to access the water.
- Developing and sharing best practice amongst Mooring Associations to help them meet their individual aspirations.
- Helping Mooring Associations to apply for funding to enable them to improve their offering.
Chris Cassels, Senior Asset Manager at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “This study highlights the vital and varied benefits generated by sailing and boating in Scotland, not just with regards to the hundreds of jobs and millions of pounds for the economy, but also for the many health benefits such activities provide.
“We hope that action based on this report will help support more people to enjoy the many advantages offered by boat-based activities and enable communities to work more effectively to realise fully the benefits available.”
Jim Traynor, Chair of the West Highland Anchorages and Moorings Association (WHAM), said: “We welcome the publication of this very comprehensive report. The information and data will be very beneficial to the development and growth of marine based leisure income across the West Coast of Scotland, and this is to be welcomed.”
Crown Estate Scotland’s wider support for marine leisure includes a three-year funding agreement with British Marine Scotland (BMS), whose boat-based tourism initiative, ‘Building the Backbone’, aims to unlock the potential of the marine tourism industry. Further funding from Crown Estate Scotland alongside several partners will also enable BMS to undertake a study of sailing in Scotland and help further development of the sector. In addition, Crown Estate Scotland is helping to fund a marine tourism officer, based with North Ayrshire Council, who is examining further opportunities for local tourism projects.