Fife Harbours Group

Fife has a long coastline and a rich resource of harbours, many of which benefit from at least some leisure activity, often through active sailing/angling clubs and other user groups. 

In order to develop a strategy and action plan for developing Fife's harbours and coastal communities, Campbell Macrae Associates were commissioned in 2014 to carry out a study of the facilities and activities at the region's 37 harbours, ports and piers. A copy of the report findings can be found below.
The study found that whilst sailing, cruising and leisure angling is estimated to bring in around £1.34 million to the kingdom each year, most of Fife's harbours are not particularly well known by leisure sailors and many lack the facilities required.

Many harbours in Fife, in common with the East Coast in general, are tidal, drying out every day and many require expensive dredging as part of their maintenance regime to keep them useable. The study found that several harbours in Fife are now at capacity and some have waiting lists. From a leisure sailing perspective, the East Coast, including Fife, was found to continue to suffer from a lack of awareness, poor perceptions, lack of marketing and a lack of infrastructure.

The study found that Anstruther Harbour remains the focus for leisure sailing in Fife; it has the largest capacity, the best supporting infrastructure and is well integrated into the town centre meaning there is good scope to secure economic impact.

The study recommends that Anstruther, St Andrews and Tayport are the communities presenting the best leisure potential, but that there is potential to increase the leisure use of many other of Fife's harbours.

Other recommendations focused on partnership working, increasing awareness and improving marketing, increasing capacity (where possible), exploring ways of overcoming tidal harbours, improving supporting infrastructure for harbour users and capitalising on dry tourism opportunities. The study's recommendations were discussed at a meeting of Fife's harbour trusts and sailing and angling clubs and other interested parties held on 8 September. Consultation on the study's findings and recommendations is currently underway.

Any comments and suggested priorities for the future development of Fife's harbours should be emailed to alison.laughlin@fife.gov.uk

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