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Future of MVF Watchful confirmed

MVF Watchful Mar 24

At Tuesday's Cabinet meeting (12 March 2024), South Ayrshire Councillors approved proposals for the removal of the former fishing vessel, MVF Watchful, from the dry dock at South Harbour Street, Ayr. 

Known locally as The Watchful, the vessel is in a deteriorating condition, and it would cost a substantial amount to restore. 

The removal of The Watchful will allow us to move forward with our ambitious Ayr Esplanade Improvement Strategy. This exciting strategy includes improved infrastructure for water sports, refurbishment of existing artworks and a new maritime heritage installation. 

South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Buildings and Environment, Councillor Martin Kilbride, said: "The Council has engaged with a number of community bodies around plans to restore The Watchful, however none of these have come to fruition. The best option is to remove the vessel and move forward with our plans to revamp the esplanade area." 

South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Culture, Tourism and Rural Affairs, Councillor Alec Clark, said: "Ayr Esplanade attracts thousands of visitors each year, so it's vital that we maximise all the area has to offer.  I am aware of the history and heritage of the herring fishing in South Ayrshire, however, the removal of The Watchful, which is in poor condition, means that we can progress with some fantastic improvements along the shorefront that will benefit both locals and tourists."