Carbost Pier

Developing access to the sea at Carbost, Isle of Skye

Carbost Pier


Company Details

Carbost Pier Ltd is a community company dedicated to developing access to the sea for everyone at Carbost, Isle of Skye.

Phase 3 of the development project is underway thanks to assistance from the Coastal Communities Fund.


For all the latest news about the development of the waterfront at Carbost go to our Facebook page - here.


Exciting New Retail Opportunity In Carbost

Later this year we will have a new retail unit available in Carbost and we are looking for a commercial tenant.

The unit has planning permission for a hot food takeaway but could be used for a wide variety of retail activities.

If you have a business idea and are looking for premises in a prime trading location you can find out more about what's on offer here.




Latest News - 1st August 2010

Our SRDP application was rejected for technical reasons, which is disappointing but we remain confident that we can secure funding from other sources. The Big Lottery has just announced a new fund that is a perfect fit for our project and we are in the process of preparing an application. It appears that the project is also eligible for LEADER funding.

Carbost Pier Ltd. has also been following the moves to establish an umbrella community trust for the Minginish area and is fully supportive of the concept. At the latest CPL meeting we agreed to help to progress a community trust in whatever way we could.



Latest News - 8th June 2010


We are still awaiting news of our funding application, which was submitted to the Scottish Rural Development Programme in December. In April we were told that all decisions would be deferred until after the General Election, so we hope to hear good news sometime soon.


Latest News - 15th December 2009

We are on course to submit a funding application to the Scottish Rural Development Programme before Christmas for £506,000. This, along with £11,000 that we already have in the bank will fund the full capital project - pier, slipway, pontoon, and road. Our application will be considered in January/Februrary and a decision made in March.

We have applied to Highland Council for planning permission for the project and we have applied to the Crown Estate for lease of the seabed.

To date our local fundraising effort has brought in over £5,600, which helps to demonstrate the level of committment to SRDP as well as representing more than half of the £11,000 that we need to complete the capital funding. Many thanks to everyone for organising and contributing to the raffles, and to Kenny John for the barn dance proceeds.

 We have received a lot of moral and material support from members of the community and further afield but we need more signed-up members of Carbost Pier Ltd. to bolster our funding application. Email now - - to find out how to join the company. Your liability will be limited to £1 and everyone is welcome.


Latest News - 8th August 2009

We've recieved the report from Wallace Stone and now know that we have to raise over £500,000 in order to renovate the pier, upgrade the road, build the slipway, and install the floating jetty.

Jane Isaacson of Paper.Works on Tiree has agreed to handle the main fundraising effort on our behalf, which is a great relief as she has vast experience of negotiating the intricacies of public and private funding applications.

In the meantime our local fundraising effort continues with two raffles on the go - one with a huge list of prizes and the other offering a very valuable prize of 'goods to the value of..' at the shop in Carbost.

A day charter on the sailing boat 'Ezra' has also been donated by skipper/owner Sam to help us raise funds. This is worth around £700 and will be auctioned at Kenny John's Barn Dance on the 28th of August, so please encourage family and friends to turn out in force at the dance. Ezra now operates from Portnalong and you can find out more about her here -


Latest News - 28th June 2009

At a meeting on the 25th of June the directors of Carbost Pier Ltd. signed a Heads of Terms with Diageo plc, agreeing access to the land.

We have to meet a few conditions first, the main ones being getting planning permission and raising the money to renovate the pier and build the slipway and floating jetty but when these are in place Diageo will transfer title to an area of land beside the pier, grant a lease of the land next to the slipway/jetty, and grant a right of access over the road that joins these two plots of land and connects them to the public road.

We have appointed Wallace Stone Consulting Engineers to survey the road and the seabed and produce outline designs and costings for the capital works. The resulting report will be used in our applications for planning permission and funding.

The costs of the survey will be partly funded by the Scottish Community Projects Fund which has agreed to contribute £2,000.

Local fundraising is going well with lots of support from businesses on Skye and beyond for the raffle. There are 21 prizes on offer so far with more arriving by the day. Tickets are on sale in Carbost at the Stop Shop and Old Inn, and at Taigh Ailean, Portnalong. The draw will be made at the Old Inn on the 29th of August.

The other piece of good news is that Carbost Pier Ltd has recently been granted charitable status (Charity No. SC040495), which means that we can now apply for funding to a wider range of organisations.



Latest News - 28th February 2009

More progress.

As well as the £9,000 from the Lottery we have been awarded £3,354 from the Highland Council to help with the survey work etc.

We hope to get the survey work underway within the next couple of weeks.



We are now the official mooring association for Carbost.

Anyone who has a mooring in our designated area (between the pier and Trien) can join our association, pay £35/year, get a tag for their mooring, and keep the Crown Estate happy.

Anyone who already has an official mooring is welcome to join the association and take advantage of the reduced fee. They are equally welcome to continue to deal directly with the Crown Estate and pay the full £70 fee.

Anyone who has an unofficial mooring and doesn't want to join the association can continue as they are and deal directly with the Crown Estate when they come to inspect the moorings.

If you have a mooring, or are planning to lay one, and you would like to join the association please email





Latest News - 16th February 2009

The project is making progress.

We are about to commission a detailed survey and costings for the following:

  • repair of the pier decking, fendering, railings, ladders, etc.
  • construction of a new boat launching slipway
  • installation of a floating jetty
  • repair, drainage and surfacing of the road and parking areas

To help pay for the survey work we have been awarded a grant of £9,000 from The Big Lottery Investing In Ideas and hope to get some more money from Highland Council and the Scottish Community Projects Fund. As well as the survey this will pay for legal fees, planning permissions, etc.

Our solicitor is negotiating the final wording of the proposed development agreement between Carbost Pier Ltd and Diageo which will eventually lead to title/lease of the land between the slipway and the pier.

Work is also underway to expand the membership of Carbost Pier Ltd. in advance of the big fundraising drive for the capital works. The more members we have the better our case for attracting Lottery and other funding.



Latest News - 8th September 2008

We have agreed in principle to Diageo's latest offer for access to the land at the pier and slipway. The detail of the offer is under consideration by our lawyer and we hope to formalise the agreement soon.

There are a couple of other legal details to tie up (seabed lease for the pier and slipway; Macleod Estates permission to use the foreshore) and a lot of work to do on deciding the exact scope of the works so that we can prepare a planning application and get up-to-date costs for funding applications.


 Latest News - 27th August 2008

Negoitiations over the lease continue but we are hopeful of reaching agreement soon.

Last month's raffle was a great success with over £800 being raised, mainly thanks to the efforts of Steve and Bill. The response from local businesses to requests for prizes was superb and much appreciated. Many thanks to all who contributed.

We have received Section 34 Consent from the Scottish Government for all of the moorings at Carbost. This allows us to lay as many moorings as we like within the designated area, providing we leave space for boats to anchor at the area marked on the chart (approximately off the Old Inn/surgery). At some stage the Crown Estates will be asking for £35 for each of the moorings that do not currently have consent. Anyone who is already paying £70 for an individual mooring is welcome to join the group and benefit from the 50% discount.





Latest News - 24th June 2008

More progress. We have received from Diageo a Draft Heads of Terms for a lease of the land adjacent to the pier and slipway. The proposed terms are generally favourable and we are in the process of negotiating minor changes to them. Hopefully we are close to getting access to the land which will then make it possible to take ownership of the pier and start the planning and fundraising for the development project.

We have also heard that our application for consent for use of the seabed is now being processed. We are also awaiting a response from MacLeod Estates regarding permission to use the foreshore for both pier and slipway.

A raffle is being organised to raise funds. Tickets will be on sale in the Carbost shop and from members of Carbost Pier Ltd. The draw will take place at the end of the Classic Malts Cruise visit.



27th May 2008

After months of inaction we seem to be making some progress.

Diageo lawyers have recently announced that a lease of the land adacent to the pier/slipway is more appropriate than the 'licence to occupy' that was previously on offer. They are preparing a draft which we hope to have within the next week or so.

On advice from Bidwells (agents for the Crown Estate) we have submitted an application to the Ports & Harbours authority for a 'non-exclusive licence'  for the seabed from the pier to Carbostmore. As far as we can understand this single application will include the seabed under the pier, the new slipway, any pontoons that we might want to install, all the existing moorings, and any moorings that we might want to lay in the future. Existing mooring owners will have the choice of joining the Carbost Pier Ltd. mooring group or remaining as individual licencees. A big advantage of joining the group is the 50% reduction in the annual fee for each mooring (£35 instead of £70).




31st October 2007

At a meeting on the 25th of October it was agreed that the following should be done in advance of applying for funding:

  • A report be commissioned from Wallace Stone on the revised proposal for repairing the pier and for repairs to the road, parking areas, etc.
  • A decision made on which of the slipway options should be built and research done on methods of construction that may be less expensive.
  • Research be done into viable solutions for a floating dock and a recommendation made on the the most appropriate option.

~ ~ ~

Following verbal resolution of the outstanding issues relating to use of the land adjacent to the pier and slipway Diageo's solicitors are preparing a revised draft of the licence to occupy. We are aiming to have the licence in place and the transfer of ownership of the pier complete by the end of November.

~ ~ ~ 

At a meeting on the 5th of October 2007 Carbost Slipway Group was dissolved and absorbed by Carbost Pier Ltd. This allows us to present a united front to funding organisations, Diageo, Crown Estates, and the general public when pursuing our objectives, which are:

  1. Provide safe access to the sea at Carbost for everybody.
  2. Construct a new slipway at Carbost for launching boats up to 7m in length at most states of the tide.
  3. Provide a floating dock at Carbost for small boats that can be used at all states of the tide.
  4. Take ownership of Carbost pier and restore it to a safe condition.
  5. Design all facilities for minimum maintenance and undertake a structured maintenance programme.
  6. Secure right of access to all facilities and repair and improve the road and associated infrastructure.
  7. Promote the use of the facilities to anyone and everyone who wants access to the sea at Carbost.
  8. Engender a spirit of co-operation between members and all interested parties.
  9. Take control of the management of all moorings in the vicinity of the facilities.








25th July 2007

Members of the group met with John Porteus, partner at Wallace Stone, Consulting Civil Engineers.

John told us that he has recently inspected the pier and is confident that the condition of the deck has deteriorated less than was anticipated by his report of 5 years ago. The condition of the main structure is still 'good for another fifty years'. He recommends a detailed inspection of the foundations at some point but is encouraged by the report from an informal inspection undertaken recently by divers which suggests the foundations are in good condition.

He also gave us details of an alternative method of repairing the deck which will be much less expensive than the repair options offered in his original report. The new option is to pour a reinforced concrete slab over the top of the exisiting deck - a relatively simple operation that can be carried out by local contractors.

John also offered to prepare a schedule of recommended maintenance that would be sufficient to satisfy the insurance company without placing an unneccessary burden on CPL.





The pier at Carbost is owned by Diageo plc, proprietors of Talisker Distillery. Diageo's lease of the seabed on which the pier stands expired in May 2007 and the pier, no longer of use to the distillery, was due to be demolished. A group of residents in the Carbost area decided that the pier is an asset that is too valuable to lose. A company was formed with the aim of taking ownership of  the pier and repairing it for the benefit of the community.


Carbost Pier Ltd:

The company was incorporated in May 2007 to take ownership of Carbost Pier. It is a company limited by guarantee, which means that the liability of each member is limited to £1. Charitable status has been approved and will be granted on transfer of ownership of the pier. Membership of CPL is open to anyone with an interest in seeing the pier restored to good working order and generally developing access to the sea at Carbost.

Office bearer's are:

  • Chairman  - Malcolm Henry, Drynoch
  • Secretary - Mark Hennessy, Carbostbeg
  • Treasurer - Donald John MacSween, Portnalong


Classic Malts cruise 2007 from Carbost Pier



Ownership - CPL has requested that Diageo transfer ownership of the pier to the company without delay.

Seabed Lease - the Crown Estates have given verbal agreement to the grant of a seabed lease to CPL without any requirement to demolish the pier on termination of the lease.

Land Lease - CPL has requested that Diageo start the process for granting a lease to CPL for the land that joins the pier and slipway to the main road.

Fundraising - in excess of £1,000 has been raised during the Classic Malts Cruise; Diageo has agreed to donate a sum equal to the demolition costs (£40,000+); HIE/CLU have indicated their support for a funding application to the Big Lottery Fund when ownership of the pier and objectives for development have been established. The donation from Diageo will provide a powerful lever in any funding application.

Development - a clear set of objectives for CPL has been agreed (see above) and these will be addressed in detail as the funding applications are developed.





If you would like to become a member of Carbost Pier Ltd,

or you are able to help us in any way,  please email: