Hundreds turned out to welcome the first flotilla of canal boats to a marina dubbed the 'West Lothian Riviera'.

Winchburgh Marina, located on the Union Canal in Winchburgh’s emerging new town centre, was opened as a flotilla of canal boats, e-boats, canoes, and paddleboards entered to a backdrop of bagpipes.

Local resident Graham Campbell, who serves as chair on Winchburgh Community Council added: “This is the latest piece in the puzzle towards carefully creating a town with character and personality with features that enable a great quality of life.

"Winchburgh is so well-placed in terms of links to road, cycleways and the Union Canal, and the new marina is a great addition to all the amazing development taking place here.”

The marina, overlooked by apartments, marks the latest milestone in the growth of Winchburgh and lies adjacent to an emerging town centre.

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Further housing will flank the facility, with plans for leisure units earmarked for restaurants, cafés and facilities for Scottish Canals.

Winchburgh Developments Ltd worked with Scottish Canals to develop the facility, which can accommodate up to 20 narrowboats for tourists and residential berths, with plans for a further 29 moorings along the canal.

John Hamilton, CEO of Winchburgh Developments Ltd, said, "Today marks a major milestone in the sustainable and sensitive development of Winchburgh and it gives me great pleasure to handover the completed marina to Scottish Canals.

"It will, I’m sure, prove to be not only a major asset to people here but, we hope, a significant draw to those considering moving to be a part of this exciting community.

"So far, we are proud to have created an 85-acre community park, major motorway link, new retail spaces, and to have played a part in the realisation of a state-of-the-art three-school education campus, all while attracting developers to create a range of exciting  homes for our new residents.”

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Scottish Canals’ Chief Executive Officer John Paterson said: “We’re delighted to take occupancy of Winchburgh Marina, this latest addition to Scottish Canals’ growing moorings portfolio.

"Winchburgh Marina is a fantastic example of how we are making the most of Scotland’s canals, through working with partners across the public, third and private sectors we’re able to offer new opportunities for those living on or near water.

“We’re excited to work with Winchburgh Developments Limited, our passionate boating community on the Union Canal and the community here at Winchburgh to create a vibrant hub for people to live, work and enjoy for the long term and I would encourage anyone who has ever had a fleeting thought about living on water, starting a business on the canal or ditching a caravan for a canal boat to get in touch with our moorings team.”

Claudia McPhail of Bridge 19-40 Canal Society said: “We’re delighted that the canal is once again becoming the heart of a community and hope the new marina will have a great future in and for Winchburgh! It is such a boost and much-needed positive development.”

Further plans are in place for Winchburgh’s water-based activities, with the quarry in nearby Daisy Park set to be transformed into a leisure facility.