William Calder leads expansion of UK’s hottest port

William Calder is the man behind Britain’s fastest-growing fishing port and, now, Britain’s nascent marine energy industry.

Chairman of the Scrabster Harbour Trust, Calder has just raised ?2.5m rom the European Regional Development Fund, which will be the beginning of a major development of the evocatively named northern Scotland port. As The Press & Journal says: “It is gearing up to start work in May of next year on the ?24million project so the port is ready to handle work when the first of the sub-sea turbines goes into the water towards the end of 2012.”

Scrabster’s trust manager Sandy Mackie said: “We?re in on the start of a major new industry. It?s like being back in the 1950s when Dounreay was starting up.” He said that up to 300 sub-sea devices are expected to be deployed and that the total long-term investment in mainland Britain’s northernmost region’s marine energy industry could be up to ?5bn.

This deal is part of a trend, says Lee Hibbert, editor of Professional Engineering: “It was one of a series of investment announcements for renewable energy projects in north Scotland this week.”

Scrabster, a major economic force in the north, has a fascinating history, having provided a safe deep water anchorage to seafarers since the days of Viking longboats. Construction of the current harbour began in 1841. Today, with the long-term decommissioning of Dounreay, its role in the regional economy is vital and, with anticipated growth in the sub-sea marine energy industry, could be set for significant growth. Last year, the CEO of Scrabster Harbour Trust Rod Johnstone stepped down after only a year in the post.

Wiliam Calder, who led the fund-raising, is also managing director of wholesale fish business Scrabster Seafoods, and a prominent local businessman. He is a passionate spokesman for the region.

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