Plans to preserve Collieston pier are one step closer after a visit from a group of Dutch civil engineers last weekend.
Delft University students and three lecturers flew over from Holland to visit the site and have said that there is scope for a project to restore the harbour in the near future.
The group was visiting Scotland to view the Forth Bridge and Falkirk Eye so Slains and Collieston Community Council treasurer, Huib Attema, who hails from Holland, took it upon himself to contact them and ask them to also have a look at the pier and provide some advice.
Mr Attema told the Times: “I wanted to know what we could do with the pier or if there were any alternatives so I approached some universities to see if they would be interested in coming to have a look.
“Delft University happened to be coming over to Scotland and I asked if they would consider coming to view the pier.”
Pier group chairman, David Stewart said that the day was a huge success.
He said: “The day went brilliantly. We had some masters students with their lecturers and an engineer from Royal Haskoning.
“They spent about five hours in the village closely looking at the pier, brainstorming and coming up with ideas.
“What’s really exciting is that they think that there is a possibility that this could be an appropriate project for students to do as part of their coursework.
“A small group of students - not necessarily the same group that were over here at the weekend- would come over for a few weeks, take some measurements do some computer modelling at university and come up with various scenarios and results.”
“There are no guarantees yet, it is important that we work out what we can do and then how we can do it.”
Huib added: “I am currently in correspondence with the university and we will see what the next steps will be.
”It will take time, if we managed to do something in the next two to three years I think that would be great considering the pier is 120-years-old.”
Ellon and District Councillor Rob Merson attended as a Trustee of the pier.
Mr Merson said: “It was a great pleasure to meet with the young men and women who gave up their time to visit Collieston to see the pier and apply themselves to the engineering problems which are being faced.
“I commend Slains and Collieston Community Council and the Pier Working Group for their innovative approach in addressing these issues - and local resident and CC Treasurer, Huib Attema, for securing the interest and engagement of his countrymen from the University of Delft.”