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Funding announced for Shelburne Marine Terminal

Passengers disembark in Shelburne during a 2018 visit by the cruise ship Marina. KATHY JOHNSON PHOTO
Passengers disembark in Shelburne during a 2018 visit by the cruise ship Marina. KATHY JOHNSON PHOTO - Kathy Johnson
SHELBURNE, N.S. —

By KATHY JOHNSON
TRI-COUNTY VANGUARD

The federal and provincial governments will be investing a total of $669,742 for key infrastructure improvements at the Shelburne Marine Terminal to help position Shelburne as a choice destination for cruise ships, super yachts and other watercraft visitors.
Bernadette Jordan, minister of Rural Economic Development and MP for South Shore – St. Margaret’s, announced the federal government’s $559,742 investment in the project through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund on Sept. 6.
“Modern infrastructure is an essential building block for supporting Canada's tourism competitiveness and the long-term prosperity of Canadians, whether they live in large cities or small communities,” said Jordan in a press release. “Our government is committed to supporting tourism-based initiatives, like this one, that create good jobs, grow Canada’s economy and bring new opportunities to communities looking for a chance to show the world what they have to offer.”
The province is also providing $100,000 towards the project through Develop Nova Scotia.
“Today’s investment opens up new opportunities to attract and inspire people to visit Nova Scotia by sea while supporting one of our province’s authentic working waterfronts,” said Jennifer Angel, president and CEO, Develop Nova Scotia. “We know through our partnership with the Town of Shelburne that the ability to continue to welcome tall ships, cruise visitors, yachts and recreational boaters will help grow the community and region as a premiere marine destination."
Shelburne is identified by the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association, Tourism Nova Scotia and Develop Nova Scotia as one of eight strategic 'niche' ports in the province and is considered as a port suited to welcome smaller cruise ships with fewer passengers, as part of an Atlantic Canadian collaboration effort to attract more cruise visitors.
“The Shelburne Marine Terminal is a key infrastructure priority for the Town and Eastern Shelburne County,” said Shelburne Mayor Karen Mattatall. 
“Shelburne Harbour is the third-best natural harbour in the world and we support the growth and diversification of employment opportunities through enhancements that improve our ability to attract visitors and business to our area. The Town of Shelburne has determined that opportunities for port growth reside primarily in the marine tourism sector, through cruise ships, super yachts and other sailing vessels. Diversification of the Shelburne Harbour economy is seen as key to increasing the region’s resiliency and overall viability of port operations.”
The Town of Shelburne is also contributing $200,000 for a total project cost of more than $800,000, said town CAO Darren Shupe.
Marine Terminal infrastructure enhancements will include the replacement of the concrete deck, installation of concrete curbs and reinstallation of bollards, and will help ensure the terminal can support the development of key visitor and marine-based sectors, diversify the port’s business offerings, increase tourism in the historic town and create well-paying jobs.
“The main focus is to make it safe and ensure all the space alongside is able to be used to its full extent,” said Shupe. As it is now, about 50 per cent of the stem part of the wharf is under weight restrictions. “This will help with structural stability and safety of the whole structure.”
With a focus on marine tourism as well, and keeping in mind the town wants to diversity the economy of the port by providing facilities that will work for cruise ship mega events and tall ships, Shupe said the town will “be working with Develop Nova Scotia to make sure we have the appropriate facilities” for those types of vessels going forward. 
Shupe said he expects the tender for the work to go out within the month. 
“This kind of gets the ball rolling with the marine terminal. It's been paused now for a little while to secure funding and now that we have funding,” the town will be pursuing other things that can be done to improve the port to attract more marine visitors.
The Port of Shelburne has hosted several cruise ship visits in the past three years and expects at least three more cruise ships in the 2019/20 season. It has also hosted the Tall Ships Nova Scotia festival, Nova Scotia’s Bluenose II and other local events. The port also supports a range of marine operations from commercial inshore and offshore fisheries and marine safety and enforcement, to a growing regional aquaculture sector.

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