Annan Harbour Action Group is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) which exists to:

  • Develop Annan harbour and the surrounding area as a community asset;
  • Promote water-based and shore-based activities linked to the maritime environment and acquire and regenerate historic buildings and land to benefit all.
  • Promote the harbour and Annan as a hub for performance, events, and festivals which celebrate, and raise awareness of the maritime heritage, history and natural environment.
  • Improve the harbour infrastructure and that of the surrounding area;
  • Provide training in traditional skills such as building coastal rowing boats to ensure that the heritage of such crafts is maintained for future generations.

Recently, Annan Harbour Action Group was awarded £105,000 of funding for the next two years, meaning that they can progress plans to develop the harbour as a thriving community asset. Almost half of the funding came from Dumfries and Galloway’s LEADER programme, which supports sustainable economic growth in rural areas; the remainder of the funding came from Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee and The Holywood Trust.

The funding has allowed the group to employ a Harbour Development Officer and to develop its coastal rowing initiative by building a second skiff, involving young people from Annan Academy. In July the Group became a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) giving the Group rights such as entering into contracts, employing staff and owning property.

two rowing boats on the water in Annan Harbour

Rowers enjoying the water in Annan Harbour

“We’ve been spinning a lot of plates in the past couple of years and things are just falling into place at the same time now,” says Secretary, Alan Savage. The group has 12 charitable trustees and is actively trying to recruit more general members interested in rowing, boat building or just supporting the overall improvement of the harbour, which was dredged in 2015.

The Group acknowledged the help of their local Third Sector Interface (TSI) in their recent success:

“Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway has been a great source of support,” says Treasurer, Christine Matthews. “Abi was so helpful with the application for SCIO, helping us to get it right first time. She was a great help with our constitution too and sends us updates on legislation changes which could help us.” “She’s like a one-stop-shop for all kinds of help,” adds Alan.

“What Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway has offered us has been invaluable.”

You can read more about the work of Third Sector Dumfries & Galloway in their Empower Magazine.