Reflecting on a year at Fraserburgh Harbour

It’s been a quick year since Commercial Manager, Pamela Neri, joined us, and as she passes her first anniversary, we thought it would be a good time to ask her what it’s been like. In doing so, she’s given us a real snapshot of the past 12 months at Fraserburgh Harbour, and an idea of what’s on the horizon during 2023.

What led you to join Fraserburgh Harbour as Commercial Manager?

“I’m local to the Broch, and since returning a few years ago, I’ve become committed to the idea of a Fraserburgh which can offer a really positive future for generations to come.

“Working along those lines, I ran an economic development project before joining the Harbour, which was designed to impact the town and community by assisting people in starting their own business.  Once I’d been made aware of the Harbour’s Masterplan, it quickly became obvious that there was a bigger picture here – that the Masterplan and the future of the Harbour were central to the development of the whole town. 

“There’s no denying that the Masterplan is ambitious, and bearing that in mind, there has been some doubt as to whether or not it can be achieved. That – for me – was the ultimate motivator to join the team. I knew this was a realistic strategy and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

“I’ve got a wide-ranging remit, and the experience I’ve had during my career so far fits the bill. But more fundamental than that is my belief that Fraserburgh can become a town where those jobs and businesses which currently rely on the Harbour are safeguarded – and that for generations to come, there are fulfilling, diverse jobs for those who wish to stay, and for those who wish to return to their hometown. This is a great part of the world, with so much potential. The Harbour is the fulcrum for this, so it was a no brainer for me to get involved.”

It’s been a busy time for the Harbour since January 2022; what have been your highlights so far?

“Top of the list must be the delivery of a robust, well researched outline business case. This is the means for us to take the Masterplan to the next stage. The OBC has been a significant project in its own right and its purpose is to illustrate that this outstanding project can be achieved. We’ve learned a lot doing this and it’s only strengthened our resolve to safeguard the future of the Harbour.

Changing the perception of Fraserburgh Harbour has also been incredibly satisfying. I was surprised to discover how little so many really knew about us, and a big part of that has been addressed through our new fit-for-purpose re-brand and website, as well as a strategic communications plan. There’s no doubt now about what we do, and what we’re looking to achieve. 

In-depth engagement with a whole variety of stakeholders has proven to be a hugely positive experience this year. From the offshore wind developers who will be critical to the on-going development of the Harbour, to the fishing community and businesses active in and around the Harbour – they have all given unanimously supportive feedback. Each group completely grasps the economic – and emotional – rationale behind the Masterplan, which 100% consolidates the plans we’re making.

“The development of Fraserburgh Harbour is about the many, not the few – and there is nowhere that this is more relevant than at Fraserburgh Academy. Another critical stakeholder for us, it’s been a gateway to some crucial engagement with the next generation and their families, ensuring they know what we’re planning for the future of the Harbour and can see what it’s going mean to them for decades to come. It’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve been blown away by the support we’ve received from the Academy. This is a true example of collaboration at its very best.”

What do the next 12 months hold?

“Fundamental to the development of our plans will be the relationships we build with those who will help us achieve our objectives. We’ve been liaising with those in local and national government and economic development, as well as looking at funding opportunities.  2023 will be about getting them and our key supporters up to Fraserburgh, to understand the context of the Masterplan and really see what we’re trying to achieve for everyone. 

“2023 is about making the shift from “wouldn’t it be amazing if…” to “it’ll be amazing when…” whilst we find the right people and organisations to join us on this incredible journey.”