Highlands & Islands

Fort William subsea training site's future 'secured'

Divers training at The Underwater Centre Image copyright Iain Ferguson
Image caption More than 200 people train at the centre every year

The future of a subsea training and underwater trials centre has been secured following restructuring, its operators have said.

More than 50 people are employed at The Underwater Centre at Fort William in Lochaber.

Its site is to operate as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.

This means it will be funded and supported by its members which include North Sea offshore industry companies Subsea 7, TechnipFMC and Premier Oil.

Scottish government agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise has also offered support to the centre.

Image copyright The Underwater Centre
Image caption The site's facilities include an indoor tank
Image copyright The Underwater Centre
Image caption ROV training is offered at the centre

The centre's facilities include a sheltered seawater dive site with multiple dive depths and a range of subsea structures, a private pier complex and a 1.5 million litre indoor seawater dive tank.

More than 200 diving and remotely-operated vehicle students train at the site each year.

Image copyright The Underwater Centre
Image caption More than 50 people are employed at the centre

Managing director David McGhie said: "We are delighted that the industry and Scottish government have collaborated to ensure the future of the centre.

"This genuinely positive collaboration will help to increase the value we can offer our customers and the entire industry in the future."

He added: "As a not-for-profit company, any surplus will be reinvested in improving quality and maintaining high standards and in new equipment and technology to support testing and trials, keeping us at the forefront globally."

Image copyright The Underwater Centre
Image caption The operators of the centre say the site's future has been secured

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