By Karen Peattie

A MARINA near Edinburgh is expanding to increase its berth count and accommodate larger yachts as demand for boat ownership soar.

After receiving a six-figure loan from HSBC UK, South Queensferry’s Port Edgar Marina, formerly a naval base, will dredge a disused part of the marina and reinstate the old pier.

Demand for moorings has grown “considerably” since the start of the pandemic and increased capacity will allow it to offer an additional 50 mooring spaces – up from 320 – and accommodate yachts over 100 feet, up from the current maximum length of 50ft.

Russell Aitken, managing director of Port Edgar Holdings, said: “Boat ownership has skyrocketed over this last year-and-a-half, and we’re currently operating at capacity. Not only will this funding from HSBC UK help us to expand our business by offering more berths to customers, but it will open up opportunity for us to berth much larger yachts that pass through the Firth of Forth."

Mr Aitken and his wife, Cara, took over the management of the marina from Edinburgh Leisure after winning a tender in 2014. Since then, they have been working to transform it into a visitor destination.

Natalie Marshall, relationship director at HSBC UK, noted: “Port Edgar Holdings has made great progress in making the marina a real destination. With fantastic views of all three bridges, eateries and sailing schools, the marina is now a popular destination for the local community and tourists alike.”

Located between the Forth Road Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing, Port Edgar Marina sits less than 30 minutes outside of Edinburgh city centre. The marina, which is home to a sailing club and a wide range of water sports activities, has seen a growth in footfall over the past few years following continued investment in its surrounding buildings, as well as the opening of the 200-cover licensed restaurant Scott’s.