Conservation and education charity, the Scottish Seabird Centre has shared the results of the Economic Impact Assessment of the proposed national marine centre.
The analysis of the economic impact of the marine centre, by the independent economic research consultancy EKOS, reinforces that the centre will bring considerable benefits to East Lothian and Scotland.
The report estimates that the new centre will generate output at the East Lothian level of £2.38m per annum and support employment of 54 full time equivalents. It will create a net additional increase of £1.18m per annum in output and employment of 24 FTEs on top of the existing beneficial impacts of the Scottish Seabird Centre.
At a national level, it will generate output at just over £1m per annum and support 23 jobs.
James Adam, associate director for EKOS, said: “The development of the national marine centre will broaden the appeal of the existing centre, attracting new visitors and creating additional economic benefits.”
Andy Davey, partner at Simpson & Brown, the architects who designed the existing Seabird Centre building, said: “We have worked very hard to design a sensitive scheme on an important and challenging site, responding to the education and conservation objectives of the charity.”
Tom Brock OBE, CEO of the Scottish Seabird Centre, adds: “The aim of the national marine centre is to build on the work undertaken by the Seabird Centre team by diversifying to incorporate the wider marine environment and wildlife above and below the waves, including seabirds.
“The economic impact at regional and national levels is significant and that coupled with our charitable objective to encourage people to protect and conserve the marine environment and wildlife for future generations reinforces the importance of this project.”
The North Berwick-based attraction aims to provide a hub for marine education. The plans include a new education space to accommodate school and community groups; new outreach and online learning programmes; year-round interactive and changing exhibitions and activities to reduce seasonality; as well as new volunteering, work experience and internship programmes.
The total project investment is estimated at £6.2m. The plan is to open the national marine centre (a working title) in 2020, Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters.