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Minutes of a meeting of Directors held on Thursday 11th February 2021

Because of the coronavirus, this meeting was held remotely via Zoom.


Alasdair Swan (Chair); Steven Anderson; John Band; Paddy Crerar; Eric Robertson

Paul Ingram; Kenny Maule; Robin Hamilton; Yvonne Wemyss; 



Quentin Dimmer 

Apologies: Alastair Cook; John Williams



1 Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 14th January 2021 were approved.


Matters completed –

  1. Cold store drain
  2. Costing of new maintenance bay
  3. Harbour walk round 
  4. Removal of the Victoria Harbour container
  5. Chris Percy-Davies planning application
  6. Communication of Big Blu Sea plans to harbour residents
  7. Mooring chain wall plates fitted
  8. Maggie Store fencing installed
  9. Building control contacted re Building Warrant for Harbour toilets
  10. Rent increase letter issued to McArthur Store tenants
  11. Licences have been issued to Maggie Store tenants
  12. PAT testing has been completed
  13. Costing has been obtained for South Pier road improvements
  14. Advertisements have been placed for new directors

Matters still in progress –

  1. Notice board installation – an order will now be placed. Details to AS.
  2. Dumped equipment and old winching systems – John Fairgrieve has undertaken to remove these off site.
  3. Wipers on CCTV cameras – to be chased up. Even more important is the upgrading of the BT Broadband service which will enable others to use the system and allow the Trust to introduce a webcam.
  4. Planning application for North Wall fence, speed bumps and pier-side barriers – AC does not have the time for this currently, so the application will be made by AS.





































2. Port Marine Safety Code

Incident Log Review

There were no major or minor incidents to report in January.


Risk Assessment Review

The following risks were assessed –

  1. Vehicle falling into harbour
  2. Dropped load or lifting incident
  3. Crush or pinch when mooring

No recommendation for amendment to 2 and 3, as circumstances are the same as before, but the risk of a Vehicle falling into the harbour could be looked  at again as changes to the use of the hard standing have resulted in day launch vehicles and trailers being located along the north pier, something which has previously been out of bounds, unless the permission of the Harbourmaster has been obtained. Knowing how inexperienced at towing and manouvering trailers some users are, this has increased the possibility of this risk occurring. 

The Harbourmaster drew attention to the recent accident at Nairn when a car ended up in the harbour.

There was a discussion about the requirement to place safety rails around the Victoria Harbour. It was agreed that the rails would continue from their current position towards the bridge, along the South Pier.

If the main risk is that the Forklift Truck will fall into the harbour, the question was posed as to why a rail was not necessary opposite the Cold Store. The current decision is that no rail will be placed here, but the matter will be raised again at the next DHMC. 

There was also concern that the turning of trailers along the north wall presented a risk of trailers and their vehicles falling into the harbour. However, placing safety rails here may create a risk to swimmers, who, although not authorised to swim there, in reality do. The current decision is that no rail will be placed here.

There was also concern that vehicles park under the Battery. If a driver forgets to put a handbrake on the vehicle has nothing to stop it falling into the harbour. The current decision is that no rail will be placed here.

It was agreed that these matters need to be kept under review.









































3 Finance Report

A. January management accounts:

The January report had been circulated prior to the meeting.

  1. There was a Deficit of £5,071 in the month of January.
  2. There were high maintenance costs in the month, all for necessary work: 
    1. Fuel facility service
    2. Bridge service
    3. PAT testing
    4. Davit service
    5. Pest control
  3. It was another poor month for landings and fuel sales. The weather was the main factor, but it is to be hoped that the problems created by leaving the European Union can be sorted out and that the route to market for Dunbar’s produce creates no further problems for our fishermen who are enduring a dreadful year.
  4. The skip hire costs of £920 in the month have added to an already escalating cost in this attempt to improve the harbour environment.
  5. The apparently abnormal increase in wages will correct itself when we receive a PAYE refund.
  6. The professional fees in January were for our Designated Person who undertakes the Port Marine Safety Code Audit.
  7. The project costs in January reflect and match the EMFF grant received in the month, leaving the balance of the project costs capitalised on the Balance Sheet.
  8. There is one outstanding grants for the Maggie project for £15,562
  9. A separate cash flow statement has been sent out under separate cover to show the capital expenditure incurred during the year.
  10. The aged debtors report contains a few of the favourite culprits, but £19,213 of the total debt of £22,789 is not yet due for payment.

B. Retail plan 2021:

The closing date for retail applications was 31st January 2021. An invitation to submit applications was sent to all traders who noted an interest last year, excl. commercial submissions for seafood outlets, which was considered separately. Three applications were received from existing traders. The Board approved the 2021 licences for -

Bisset’s Seafood Shack

Trading period: 1st April – 30th September

Trading days/ times proposed: Weds to Sun, 10-4pm

All relevant documents received (some expire during trade period, renewals will be provided at appropriate time)

Supporting statement:

“We offer fresh seafood (some caught from our own boat or from the local fleet) as reasonable prices.  The nearest direct competitors are North Berwick and Eyemouth so hopefully something both locals and tourists appreciate as a little bit different to other offerings.  We hope to offer a feed the seal offering in the near future to attract more visitors to the harbour.”

Tasty Toasty 

Trading Period: 1st April – 30th September. (Permission to trade may be requested at an earlier date. However, permission with be sought well in advance and will be considered separately)

Trading days/ times proposed: Daily, 9-6pm (usually 10-4pm)

All relevant documents received (some expire during trade period, renewals will be provided at appropriate time)

Supporting statement:

“I will endeavor to continue to provide a reasonably priced quality food and drink products. 

I will continue to support the regular and local customers and promote the Harbour and town to our many visitors. We try to offer a mini tourist information service offering information on the Harbour and the towns history. 

We are willing to continue collecting launch fees and any other reasonable requests from the Harbour Trust, Harbour users and Quentin.”


Sno Cream Ices

Trading period: 1st April – 30th September

Trading days/ times proposed: Daily from 10-6pm, weather permitting and until quiet.

All relevant documents received with a note that the trader is awaiting renewal of the street traders license from CEC (CEC have advised delayed due to Covid and an additional license from ELC to trade in a different authority area is not required. However, an application has been made to ELC to avoid any potential issues with trade. These documents will be supplied as soon as received)

Supporting Statement (verbal):

“Sno Cream Ices has been well received at Dunbar Harbour. I will continue to support harbour events and donate to local charitable causes. A donation was made to the RNLI from a colouring competition held in the summer 2020 and a further donation is to be made to the RNLI, along with Dunbar Christmas Lights from the ‘Santa’ visit to the harbour in December 2020.”

The three licences will now be issued


Advertising for Belhaven Lobsters

An application for a banner to be placed where the “Fishing for litter” banner once stood was considered.

There was concern that this could set a precedence for excessive advertising around the harbour. It was agreed that no more than three such banners would be allowed, no more than one banner for each business, and that permission for new banners would be given at the absolute discretion of the Harbour Trust. Sail flags and sandwich boards will be permitted to promote approved businesses provided that they are removed at the end of each trading day. 

However, there was support for the idea of helping a local fishing business, selling local produce at the harbour, and it was agreed that it would be helpful for visitors to know where to go to avail themselves of this service.

It was also noted that there are not any other similar facilities at the moment at the harbour, so the fear of setting a troublesome precedent is limited.

It was therefore agreed that Lawrie McFarlane should be allowed to put up a banner, preferably no larger than it has to be to be effective, provided that he first obtains Advertising consent from East Lothian Council, and pays the fee in line with the Advertising Policy. 

C. Licences for the shared use of DHT Maggie store:

There are requests to have short term licences to share the DHT store

Blue Wild

Alan Stewart, Blue Wild, made a submission to the Trust on 4th November 2021. This outlined Blue Wild’s ambition to build upon their existing tour boat business, promote Dunbar and to attract visitors to enjoy the harbour. Alan also outlined the essentials needed to run an efficient tour boat business. Blue Wild have been developing their business throughout the winter months, including working with an Edinburgh tour company to promote trips and make bookings. 

As part of the essential requirements, Alan requested storage space for varying items including life jackets, waterproof clothing, regular cleaning equipment, tools and Covid related items such as sanitiser, gloves, and face masks. He noted that there is too much equipment to store on the boat, with much of it having to be left on the harbourside during trips, causing potential endangerment to the public and risk of theft.

Alan has confirmed that he would consider shared access to a Maggie Store as a short-term measure. He has advised that use of one of the stores on the South Quay would not be suitable due to the limited storage space and ease of access. He has advised space required would be equal to a 6x4ft shed space. He understands that shared use of a Maggie Store would be chargeable. Alan is keen to reach a suitable arrangement to assist business decisions and progress next steps for the planned service. 

There was concern that there was insufficient capacity to provide shared space for Blue Wild and the majority determined that no licence will be offered to Blue Wild.

Dunbar Rowing Club

An approach had been made by the Committee of the Rowing Club fat the time of the planning application for –

Storage of life jackets (boxed), a gazebo (bagged) and oars (to be hung on walls).

Consideration was given to the fact that the space required by the Rowing Club is small and that the Club provides considerable pro grata volunteer time in the management of the Battery. It was determined that the Rowing Club could share space, at an appropriate rate, without risk, recognising the contribution it makes to the harbour.

D. EMFF Grants

There is one outstanding grant, still to be received, for the Maggie Project which amounts to £15,562

An application for further funding has been made to Marine Scotland and the outcome of this application will be known by the start of next week.

Priority will be given to the South Pier road repairs and rope rails, the rams for the harbour bridge and the two Cromwell Harbour branders, repairing the historic branders of old to enable the smaller fishing boats to moor more safely.

E. Cash flow report

The cash flow to the end of January was reviewed.

The bank balance has fallen by £34,000. This is partly attributable to the loss of income during the pandemic, but mainly to the heavy investment in harbour improvements, which to date have cost over £53,000. These include the new Maggie stores, the CCTV system, replacement leading lights and the safety improvements around the harbour.

There was a discussion about the restricted funds which can only be spent on certain matters, such as the repainting and repair of McArthur’s Store or the Thelma Band Fund for the Harbour Festival. The remaining free funds are often needed to fund the upfront money for large projects such as wall repairs, even if some or all of this money is subsequently recovered through grants.

F. 2021/22 Budget considerations

The budget for the coming year was considered in the light of the current cash flow position. It will now be finalised.


  • Income from landings is expected to be down again this year, particularly while the effects of leaving the EU are felt.
  • Maggie store rental will be a new source of income next year.
  • Skip hire has been extraordinarily expensive this year, a subject that needs to be referred to the DHMC for help and support. The harbourmaster suggested that six skips per year should be sufficient.
  • The events licence needs to be renewed next year.
  • Toilet maintenance could be an annual cost in excess of £10,000. It was agreed that a robust maintenance plan was needed before this project received the GO decision.
  • It is expected that the Capital Budget for next year will be around £30,000, a sum that will need to be sed corn for larger grants if the improvement plan is to be delivered.








































































































































































































4. Harbour Management Committee


The Committee confirmed the need for two new Cromwell Harbour branders and the extended rope rails.






5. McArthur’s Store

The harbourmaster has repaired the defective outside lights.


Letters have been sent to tenants informing them of the 2021/22 licence rates. The tenants have been asked to notify the Trust of any defects.






6. Welfare Committee

The Welfare Committee met with the Harbourmaster on 26th January 2021

1. The purpose of Welfare committee was outlined and discussed. The key principle being to give an independent (of line management) opportunity for the Harbour Master and Deputy (or any harbour employee) to raise matters that may be unresolved between the employees , line management and others on the board of the harbour trust. It was outlined that all matters would remain confidential with some exceptions , being;
a. where permission was given for details to be shared wider
b. where items raised were of a nature that the harbour trust had an obligation to act.Quentin was keen to note that he both understood and appreciated the principles. He was also very keen to note that he regarded his relationship with DHT and in particular the Chairman as very good. 

2.  The committee’s role is also to discuss pay awards and the annual increase for 2021 was discussed. In accordance with DHT principles to ensure all employees earnings stay equal or ahead of RPI a 2% increase was awarded.

3. The Committee recognized the loyal work of the Deputy Harbour Master, Denholm Horsburgh, and wished him well on his long road to full recovery, following a difficult year of health problems. The Committee agreed that the Harbour Trust should continue to support Denholm until he is able to return to work







7 Harbour Improvement plan




A. Planning permission for harbour improvements

Alastair Cook is unable at the present time to deal with the planning application, so it will now be submitted this month by AS





B. Toilets

ELC Building Control has now looked at the application for a building warrant. We have received an apology but, unfortunately, the application has only just been sent to the structural engineers who have yet to check the calculations.

ER confirmed that Blueprint have gone as far as they wish to. They have helped the Trust get to Warrant stage.

The next step is to get the names of contractors who could build the toilets,

These contractors will then be asked to submit their ideas and costs for the project.

Grant funding will then be sought.

It was agreed that the toilets must be sufficiently attractive and robust to be seen as an asset for the harbour. They need to be maintained to a standard that does not bring the Harbour Trust into disrepute or interfere with the pleasure of the harbour residents.












As discussed earlier in the meeting, it was noted that the cost of running these toilets will be significant. It will reduce the Trust’s ability to pursue other harbour improvements. However, it is a facility that has long been asked for. It was recommended that the Trust look once again at the donation box (lighthouse) to raise extra revenue to mitigate against this additional cost.










C. Storage


The Project initiation Document appointed the harbourmaster – Quentin Dimmer – as the champion who will be key to much of the project analysis and the communications to harbour users (in the manner agreed with the Board, and at the correct time).

John Williams had volunteered at the last meeting to take a keen interest in this project, provided it was going somewhere


A review of the first phase – the analysis phase – showed that it had achieved the following:

  • SA had produced a storage map, clearly defining the available areas
  • QD has completed an analysis of what storage is currently in use
  • QD knows who owns which potato box
  • There is an understanding of what equipment is needed by each prawn boat and why it is needed.




It was agreed that QD, JW and YW would meet to review the policy recommendations on Page 10 of the Project initiation document to determine whether these have been finalized or not




It currently seems unlikely that there is any pressing need to purchase additional land and even more unlikely that there are the funds to do so. Enjoyleisure kindly allow the Trust to use the land above the vaults for storage, and this arrangement works well. Unless the results of Stage 1 of the storage Project conclude otherwise, the project needs to proceed no further than this Stage.






D. Masterplanning


The long-term plan for the retail offering in the harbour will be revisited after the 2021 season, and will pick up lessons learned from the extended offering by Big Blu Sea




There is no immediate pressure to proceed with any extended plan for the site above the vaults. The fishermen are pleased with the arrangements for the nets that is now provided in the Maggie yard. Demand for storage has been reduced thanks to the work done by the harbourmaster with the fishermen.




The Master Plan is still contained in the three year plan. Anyone who wants to add any ideas to this may do so at any time.


8 Friends of Dunbar Battery




A. Dunbar Chapel


As a group of volunteers, it is difficult for the Trust to offer the Battery out as a wedding venue.

There was concern that the Battery is valued by the people of Dunbar and excessive use for private weddings would not be popular.

The Battery is extensively used during a normal year for events.




Notwithstanding the above, it was agreed that the Dunbar Chapel could offer exclusive use of Dunbar Battery as part of their Wedding Menu, for not more than one hour at a cost of £150, on the following conditions –

  1. The Chapel checks first with the Trust’s Events’ coordinator that Dunbar Battery is available, and that at least one volunteer from the Trust can be present
  2. The Chapel does all the preparation, marshalling and tidying up.
  3. The Chapel pays for the booking on receipt of invoice which is the only proof of a valid booking.
  4. The Trust provides nothing, and will not provide a gazebo.
  5. The trial will be for 2021 and 2022, after which it will be reviewed.







9 Any other competent business




A. Appointment process for new Directors




There have been no new applicants to date.

It is proposed that the Chairman should approach Sharon Saunders and Elaine O’Brien to see if they will serve again on the Appointing Body






B. DHT ‘What If’ Event

The Trust were delighted to present their ‘What If’ presentation at a virtual event on 28th January 2021. The purpose of this event was to promote the work we do, share our passion to make Dunbar Harbour the ‘go to’ place, and tell others about our ‘What If’ aspirations for the future.

The event was well attended and well received. The Trust is grateful to Sustaining Dunbar for inviting us to hold this event and for their support with organisation and facilitation. We are also grateful to Tim Greene, one of our harbour volunteers, for his part as a guest speaker.

Full details of the event can be found on Sustaining Dunbar’s website at:





C. Times and Tides Event

This is now scheduled for 29th May 2022 extending to 4th/5th June 2022




D. Fishermen’s Monument:

It was noted that the Dunbar Shore & Harbour Neighbourhood Group had asked to pursue the repainting and improvement of the Trust area around the monument, and the residents’ group was authorised to seek the funding for any plan that might be developed. The Trust Board will be kept up to date with progress at future meetings and will have the final sign-off before any work is undertaken.








E. Wall repairs

The Marine Scotland grant application (£117k) will be revisited after the short term grant is awarded.

There is a need to inspect the walls after the recent battering which will be done in either the last few days of March or the last few days of April, depending on weather conditions. KM offered a drone service, but the best work is done of foot with a pole to identify the voids.








F Harbour murals

This initiative is still on the radar and will be picked up once lock-down has ended





G Return of the Deputy Harbourmaster

It was noted with great pleasure that Denholm is looking so much better after his ordeal. He hopes to return to light duties at the beginning of March and the Harbourmaster will ensure that he limits his activities appropriately.








Date of next meeting – Thursday 11th March 2021