Bendoran has always been one of the most sheltered anchorages on Scotland’s west coast. Legends of sea monsters and Viking raids are common in this area. in the 20th century it was used as mooring for Calmac ferries and famously the sea bed is littered with the remains of a munitions ship that sunk there and then was blown up to prevent people from accessing the cargo following the second world war!
More recently the site was used as a boat yard by local man Nigel Burgess and then the big boat shed was converted into a lobster holding store so that lobster could be caught in the summer then held until the peak prices of Christmas. Unfortunately, this did not work out and the boat shed and buildings were abandoned, the shed knocked down and the only use of the site was for private holiday cottages.
However, in the summer of 2018, the site was put up for sale and the local community development organsisation – SWMID, had the great idea of buying the site for the people of South West Mull and Iona. After consulting local people and applying to the Scottish Land Fund which supports community ownership of land and land assets as a means of redressing the inequalities of land ownership that have occurred over the centuries. SWMID writes:
“In October 2019, with a grant of £450,487 secured from the Scottish Land Fund, SWMID purchased a 2 acre shoreside site at Bendoran for the long-term benefit of local people.
• Processing facilities for a community-owned seaweed farm
• A water-sports centre, run separately by a soon-to-be-formed local social enterprise
• Moorings for local and visiting boats
• Boat maintenance area (in the future)”
SWMID continued to raise funds for the site and in January 2021 obtained a grant of £100K to restore the site and plans are afoot to remove derelict buildings, build a dedicated parking space, renovate the slipway and build a new boat shed.