Staff from the Department of Enterprise and Business Innovation at Borders College were delighted to accept an invitation to the groundbreaking ceremony for the new administration and training building at Eyemouth Marine recently.

Boat building

Just 4 years ago the boatyard at Brownsbank in Eyemouth was in a sorry state and faced closure with the loss of all jobs. However, businessman Patrick Flockhart (pictured above) stepped in and established Eyemouth Marine Ltd with exciting and ambitious plans for the repair and servicing yard. The boatyard has a rich and diverse history, building over 350 vessels and repairing countless others over a hundred years.

As ‘A Garage for the Sea’ the key focus at Eyemouth Marine Ltd is the repair and servicing of vessels. Offering a full range of trades including joinery, shipwright, composites, painting, hydraulics, plumbing, engineering, welding, electronics and fabrication Eyemouth Marine is a one-stop-shop for all boat repair services. The yard also has a very successful contract with the RNLI. 

The last four years have seen huge changes as the yard was refurbished, cleaned up and plans submitted to develop the old building into a new training and administration hub. In 2019 Borders College secured funding to develop the Modern Apprenticeship in Boatbuilding and Repair and implement a digital spoke in the new building. By 2022 there will be a new suite of offices, accessible facilities and a state of the art training room which will allow the college to provide support to apprentices not only in Eyemouth but across the country as well as delivering other commercial short courses.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Patrick acknowledged that the project so far had been “4 steps forward and 2 steps back” and he paid tribute to all the people who have supported the project so far. The site was blessed by Andy Haddow from the Church of Scotland who led the assembled guests in a short prayer. Eyemouth Marine then presented ceremonial spades to some of the key participants including the Minister, contractors, architect and the General Manager of the yard Graham Perrins.

Guests were treated to refreshments and the opportunity to view the plans for the building as well as view a new prototype yoal which is based on the renowned Shetland Yoal. 

As part of the project, Eyemouth Marine are aiming to reduce their carbon footprint and are working to achieve net-zero. Insulation for the new building is made from sisal and other sustainable fibres. The new roof will contain solar PV panels and the team are investigating further renewables. Pictured is Patrick Flockhart, Company Director, with some of the new insulation. 

With such exciting times ahead, Borders College is delighted to be part of this project. Director of the Department of Enterprise and Business Innovation, Katharine Mathison, said:

“We have worked closely with Eyemouth Marine for over 2 years now and have witnessed some of the challenges they have faced in the development of this project. It is incredibly positive to see the new building begin to rise and to see first-hand the work that the team at Eyemouth are involved in. We look forward to continuing a productive relationship with Eyemouth Marine and wish them every success as they commence their build.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about Boat Building, please get in touch on 01450 361030 or email debi@borderscollege.ac.uk