THE Scottish Maritime Museum plans to make its Irvine Harbour Light Festival an annual event after 3,000 people enjoyed a spectacular light and acrobatic performances within its Linthouse Building, with 15,000 cramming the illuminated harbourside itself over its first, four-day spectacular from November 30 to December 3.
“We’ve reviewed the event,” said museum director David Mann. “The festival, which included our boat building trainees making and sailing a replica of sculptor George Wylie’s Paper Boat on the River Irvine, put the museum on the map thanks to extensive media coverage. We are now plan to go ahead annually with the festival. It boosted the local community while ensuring that our museum and its precious maritime heritage, have become better known.”
David also revealed that the Scottish Maritime Museum is a major player in a bid by North and South Ayrshire Council to attract city deal funding for a coastal corridor from Ballantrae in the south to Skelmorie in the north, with the museum developing the harbourside at Irvine as a heritage harbour as part of an integrated tourism drive.
“That could include hiring berths to visiting historic boats and ships as well as relaying dock tracks, and, perhaps operating a steam locomotive on the tracks, as well as relaying cobbles and restoring dockside machinery between Irvine Pilothouse and the town’s historic railway station,” said David. “The light festival has shown just what potential maritime heritage possesses.”