James Watt Dock Marina (JWDM) in Greenock, Scotland has chosen the Hampshire-based firm to take over management of the 124-berth marina from local business Blue Sea Marinas Ltd. David Robinson reports.

James Watt Dock Marina in Scotland offers 124-berth for yachts ranging from 4.6m-61m (15ft-200ft)

British marina and waterfront consultant firm Marina Projects Ltd has been chosen as the preferred bidder for a 50-year or more concession to operate James Watt Dock Marina (JWDM) in Greenock, Scotland. The deal should be concluded shortly, subject to final checks.

The company will also oversee a major expansion of the site and a new extension in the adjoining Great Harbour.

Geoff Phillips, executive chairman of Marina Projects Ltd, comments: “I am delighted that Marina Projects has been selected as the preferred bidder for JWDM.

“We are in the process of concluding an intensive period of due diligence and lease discussions to enable us to commence operations on February 1, 2017. We plan to retain the existing operational staff and look forward to working with them in developing the marina.”

Having successfully come through a tender process, the Gosport-headquartered company will, if approved, take over management of from local business Blue Sea Marinas Ltd. The latter won the initial five-year operating concession, which was extended by a year.

During the six-year period, Blue Sea increased the number of JWDM berths from 60 to 124 for yachts of 4.6m-61m (15ft-200ft). Under its operation, Marina Projects will add another 40 berths within the next 12 months.

New 50-year concession

JWDM is operated through James Watt Dock LLP, a company that is jointly-owned by the urban regeneration agency Riverside Inverclyde (RI), and the land property division of Peel Ports, the owner of Clydeport. The tender process began last October.

RI’s acting chief executive, Fiona Maguire, was reported in the Greenock Telegraph thanking Blue Sea Marinas for “successfully providing management and support services over the past years.”

She added: “The LLP is now moving to a different business model and Marina Projects Ltd, in submitting the successful proposal, will bring its considerable experience, expertise and strength of investment to take James Watt Dock Marina to the next level.”

The other significant part of the deal with Marina Projects is that it will develop a new 200-berth facility in the Great Harbour, part of the Greenock port which adjoins the James Watt dock.

In addition, purpose-built offices will be provided along with boatyard facilities that will relocate from the sugar warehouse to a new site at Garvel Island, as well as a chandlery and F&B outlets. The plan will see the boatyard subsequently moving into the Great Harbour.