Claudia Beamish MSP said,

‘In my region, Portpatrick harbour is an inspiring example of community ownership as a model for ports. Only 20 miles from the Irish coast, Portpatrick harbour is a safe haven for thousands of mariners yearly. In the summer this year, the community rallied together to save the harbour from repossession. With support from Community Shares Scotland, the community formed the first Scottish charitable community benefit society, and it was able to sell more than enough shares to buy the harbour. In the spirit of connectivity, support came from around the world. It is fantastic that the community benefit society model stands ready for others to utilise.’

‘Today, Portpatrick harbour underpins much of the local community and economy, and the community benefit society has further innovative plans to build new facilities and expand on to new land. It remains an unspoiled and productive asset for Scotland and beyond. I hope that, although this does not relate to the bill that we are discussing today, the minister will highlight in his closing remarks how the Scottish Government might be able to further support such models in future.’

‘Our ports and harbours can be the beating hearts of coastal communities, and this is certainly true in Portpatrick.’

‘Their story is inspiring, and I commend the Portpatrick Community Benefit Society for the innovative action they took to save the lynchpin of the local economy.’

‘As a keen proponent of community empowerment, I was pleased to use the Harbours Bill debate to highlight these models.  I was also pleased to hear the minister say that there would be support for other projects like this.  I am my Scottish Co-operative Party colleagues will be watching.’

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