THE harbour in an historic Scottish town has been closed after “significant” storm damage – with more expected in the future.

St Andrew Harbour, which sits east of the ruined cathedral in the seaside town, has seen a slipway lost and the cliff face eroded to the point of concern.

St Andrews Harbour Trust, which manages the site, said it expected repair work in the short and long-term to run to as much as £500,000.

They further warned that future storms were expected to “exacerbate” the problems.

The National:

Storm Babet caused devastating flooding across the country last week, and weather warnings have been out in place ahead of Storm Ciaran, which is expected to hit the UK on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for St Andrews Harbour Trust said: “In line with coastal communities along the East Coast, Storm Babet has caused significant damage to St Andrews Harbour.

“Late Sunday evening, we lost the north west slipway and suffered further damage to the east gate. Due to the loss of the slipway, the west end of the small car park is undermined.

“More importantly, the cliff face that supports the path down from the cathedral is damaged and, without further protection, could suffer further erosion as the slipway will no longer take the brunt of the waves.

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“As a result, we have closed the harbour in line with Maritime Agency requirements. Although it would be unwise to do so, vessels can still come and go at their own risk.

“As is stated on several signs around the harbour, we would again advise the general public to avoid the waterfront in stormy weather.

“The simple act of taking photos or going for a walk during high winds and rain may seem harmless but can be extremely dangerous.”

Built works at St Andrews harbour date back to the 16th century, according to the trust. However, "the present form of the pier is largely the product of 18th and 19th century rebuilding".

The trust's spokesperson added: “As part of our ongoing efforts to maintain and improve the harbour, we are now exploring additional funding to support both emergency and long-term repair work which we estimate costing over £500,000.

“In the meantime, we are also engaging with the Scottish Government, statutory bodies and professional services to plan remedial works but expect further storms will exacerbate the issue before any works can be carried out.”