A PONTOON is to be built in a small community on the island of Mull in a bid to boost tourism by allowing yachts and tour operators to berth at the spot.

A grant of £451,000 from the Coastal Communities Fund has been pledged to the Mull and Iona Community Trust to pay for the new facility for Ulva Ferry, in north-west Mull.

It is expected the pontoon will provide berthing for yachts and access for tour and ferry operators while also catering for fishermen.

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Cally Fleming, Ulva Ferry Local Development Officer, said: "Sailing tourism is increasing on the west coast of Scotland, however there are no berthing facilities on the west of Mull - which has some of the most spectacular sailing on the west of Scotland.

"This facility will complement other pontoon facilities within a day's sail, such as Lochaline, Tobermory, Salen Jetty and Loch Sunart, and will help to open up the sailing grounds on the west of Mull to more yachtsmen."

Work is expected to start later this year with the facility scheduled to open at the start of the 2015 season. Planning is also under way to secure funding for a facilities building.

Meanwhile, £270,0000 has been awarded to two schemes aimed at boosting outdoor activities tourism in Arran and Cumbrae.

A sum of £100,000 will provide up to 28 moorings along the North Ayrshire coastline while £170,000 will go towards upgrading the Isle of Arran coastal way, a 65-mile walking trail round the island.