Oil Leak 147 A question of trust part 9

We’ll finish off with this:

The Firth’s Local Value? We don’t dispute this figure of £275 million, but let be clear, this isn’t solely due to the CFPA all by themselves – while they do undoubtedly bring wealth to the area, we would love to see this “independent assessment of the economic value to the economy”  Excusing the appalling grammar, where is this report? The same one that attributes 1 in 6 jobs in the Invergordon travel to work area coming from the Port (or companies operating there). If you are going to band around figures then reference them! We think this may be an HIE report but although often quoted, it has never been referenced. So here’s a challenge to our readers – can someone see if they can get a copy of this report so we can scrutinise the claims made?!

We immediately become sceptical when we read that “the Port invested £25 million in a new berth in 2015, this was primarily funded by the Port itself, supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the European Regional Development Fund. As 100% of Port profits are the reinvested, the more successful the Port, the more developments it can make, and the better return to the Highland Economy”.

Where should we start? It is probably incorrect to say that the 2015 development was funded by the Port itself – from memory there was £11M of European money, £4M grant from HIE with rest being made up by the Port – how does that constitute the Port funding this?? As for Port profits being invested – if the profit is made through a subsidiary such as Port of Cromarty Firth Service – 50% of the profit goes to private shareholders, 50% goes to the Port. Of course if the Port the writes loan notes to Port of Cromarty Firth Service then that’s even less profit for the Port. So, no doubt, 100% of Port profits are reinvested (actually I thought 3-4% went to local communities?) – it is the way that these profits are calculated that is perhaps not so transparent.