Solum at Ledaig Purchased
Tobermory Harbour Association are now owners of the Solum of Ledaig Carpark and Boat Park within
Tobermory, thanks for an award of £30,040 from the Scottish Land Fund, and a sale from Crown Estate
The Solum of Ledaig Carpark & Boat Park is a piece of land to the southwest of the iconic town of
Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. The story of this land’s development dates back to the 1980’s and was
the result of coordinated work discussions with both Crown Estate Scotland and Argyll & Bute Council.
Nearly forty years ago a committee, formed to manage Tobermory Harbour on behalf of thecommunity, had a very good idea. The historic and iconic town had a huge problem! There was no space in Tobermory to accommodate the rapid rise in the numbers of cars and buses arriving on the new generation of Ro Ro ferries.Tobermory was built two hundred years ago, built for sailing ships, for paddle steamers and for people who travelled on foot or by horse and cart.
The committee proposed to infill a little used and neglected area of foreshore at Ledaig to create a
large car park, bus park, boat park, boat slip with landscaping and many more much needed facilities
for visitors and for the community. Everyone agreed that this was a very good idea! Now all they
needed was the money! For years, the very good idea remained a very good idea. Then, in 1995, a
new section of road into Tobermory was funded as part of a promised project to upgrade the singletrack road from the ferry terminal at Craignure to a double track road. In Tobermory the new road
required the removal of hundreds of thousands of tons of rock. With the agreement of The Crown
Estate, the Committee, and the Community, the Local Authority was granted a long lease on the
seabed. The Solum of the seabed was infilled and the new car park was completed in 1996.
Over the years the committee continued to improve and landscape the area. Pontoons were added
from 2004. A Harbour Building was added in 2006 with public toilets and showers. A Mull Aquarium
was added. The Committee became a Harbour Authority with far reaching ideas to improve
Tobermory Harbour, to establish a hub port, to provide year-round facilities and year-round
employment. To deliver future plans the Harbour Authority was eager to purchase the Solum.
THA general manger Anne Fraser said.
“We are delighted to finally have this land in community ownership. For almost 40 years the THA have
been the care takers, tenants, or consultees and now we are landowners, we are empowered at last.
This piece of land has strategic importance for the long-term development of Tobermory Harbour.
Ownership of the Solum will empower the local community to ensure any future development of Ledaig
will include a community impact assessment. As community landowners, Tobermory Harbour
Association will work in partnership with government bodies on equal terms, to drive transformational
change, for the good of the local community.”
Paul Bancks, Asset Manager at Crown Estate Scotland said: “Successive managers of the Scottish
Crown Estate and Tobermory Harbour Association have had a close and productive relationship since
the 1980s; facilitating the establishment of a thriving moorings business; investment of £320,000 in
new pontoon facilities; supporting its transformation to a statutory harbour authority; and now this
sale of land in collaboration with Argyll & Bute Council and the Scottish Land Fund. The evolution of
the Harbour Association has been driven largely by the energy and vision of its current Chair, Brian
Swinbanks, and we look forward to collaborating with the Harbour Association on many more projects
in the future. “
John Watt, Chair, Scottish Land Fund, said: “The Scottish Land Fund was delighted to be able to assist
Tobermory Harbour Association with its plans. Now that they have ownership of Solum of Ledaig
Carpark and Boat Park they will be able to make good use of this area for the benefit of visitors and
the local community.”
THA general manger Anne Fraser added. “Thanks to Crown Estate Scotland for their support over the
years and for entrusting us with the ownership of this land. Also, a special thanks to the staff at Scottish
Land Fund, the National Lottery Community Fund and HIE for their continued support throughout, from the application process all the way through to the settlement of this transaction. It wasn’t always an
easy journey and are grateful for all the support and guidance along the way.”