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The Freeport of Riga Authority Will Develop the Infrastructure of the Ķīpsala Yacht Harbour with Funding from the European Union

By participating in the project “Improvement of Sailing Infrastructure and Yacht Harbours Network Building in Estonia and Latvia (EST-LAT Harbours)” of the ERDF Interreg programme, the Freeport of Riga Authority is planning to improve the infrastructure of the Ķīpsala yacht harbour. The goal of the project is to increase the competitiveness of the Riga port in the area of sailing tourism and hosting of large sailing competitions, which would contribute to a potential increase in tourism in Riga. The Freeport of Riga Authority signed a Partnership Agreement for participation in the EST-LAT Harbours project, and the port’s board approved the allocation of the indicative co-funding of the Freeport of Riga Authority in the amount of EUR 67,000.

Planned infrastructure development works in the Ķīpsala yacht harbour will include the acquisition of new yacht wastewater collection equipment, improvement of the infrastructure of navigation signs, installation of a floating platform with a slipway, as well as installation of a floating breakwater. Likewise, informational signs will be installed, and the availability of electronic communications and territory security will be improved. For the purposes of increasing the quality of services, there are plans to construct a two-storey floating structure that would accommodate services crucial for sailors, such as a sail repair workshop, utilities and recreational premises. The total planned cost of the project is EUR 446,000, 85% of which is funded by the ERDF Interreg programme of the European structural funds. The remaining 15% is being co-funded by the Freeport of Riga Authority. Works in the Ķīpsala yacht harbour are planned to be commenced this summer and finished within 36 months.

The goal of the EST-LAT Harbours project of the ERDF Interreg programme is to develop the infrastructure of existing yacht harbours in Latvia and Estonia, diversifying and expanding the range of sailing-related services in order to ensure a significant increase in the number of yachts calling at ports. Port authorities and yacht harbours in Estonia and Latvia are participating in the EST-LAT Harbours project.  Apart from the Freeport of Riga Authority, Liepāja SEA Authority, the port authorities of Pāvilosta, Roja, Engure, Jūrmala, Skulte, Salacgrīva and Mērsrags, as well as the yacht ports operating in Liepāja, Pāvilosta, Ventspils and Mērsrags are also participating in the project on the part of Latvia.

Jānis Grīslis, commodore of the Riga Port City Yacht Club, had this to say: “Works planned by the Freeport of Riga Authority in the Ķīpsala yacht harbour will undoubtedly increase the attractiveness of the Riga Port in the eyes of sailing enthusiasts, tourists and organisers of sailing events. However, the main benefit from the implementation of the EST-LAT Harbours project will be the overall development of the port network on the coast of Latvia. It should be taken into account that, at a comfortable speed, it is impossible to cover more than 30 nautical miles by water a day in a sailboat. Hence, in order to attract sailing tourists, there should be a yacht harbour with high-quality services available to sailors along the coast at intervals of approximately 50 km. At the moment, no such network of yacht harbours has been developed in Latvia. It is not enough to have several high-quality yacht piers in Riga or several other yacht harbours for the industry to develop in general. Therefore, I consider the EST-LAT Harbours project with the involvement of many coastal yacht harbours in Latvia and Estonia to be highly valuable for both the development of the sailing tourism industry in Latvia and for increasing the number of yachts in the Riga port.”