A PILOT boat at the Port of Workington may need to be replaced at some point in the future because of its age.

Members of the port's harbour board were given an update on the site's accounts and performance indicators by Philip Bedford, the interim manager, at the site's conference centre on Thursday (April 11).

He said that the port had some "ageing infrastructure" and that included the pilot vessel where parts of the hull had grown thin. He added: "It's getting rectified so it will be seaworthy again."

Mr Bedford said that, for example, a 14-year-old pilot boat would cost around £1 million but a new model would be around three times as much.

Stuart Knight, Cumberland Council's assistant director of assets and fleet, told members that there was a chance of exploiting more commercial potential at the site such as making use of its surplus land.

He said that the former Cumbria County Council had not explored more commercial opportunities at the port. He added: "We've got good interest from other organisations, that want to use this facility, so the potential is quite good."

Councillor Tony Markley (Solway Coast, Conservative) said the pilot boat was important for the port because it guided ships up the channel and that more ships were expected to use Silloth which also could be the case for Workington.

Keith Little, a former county councillor who was co-opted onto the board, said: "Are we looking for some income from Silloth through the pilot boat?"

Mr Knight said that its priority was Workington and Mr Bedford said: "We've not used it for Silloth at all in three months."

Members noted the contents of the report.