An EU grant of more than £230,000 has been awarded to a special cross border partnership to establish how best to design and build a fleet of small ferries to serve remote communities off the Scottish and Irish coastlines.
Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) has partnered with the Department for Regional Development in the north of Ireland and the Department of Rural, Community and Gaeltacht Affairs in the south to examine a common design and procurement strategy for small ferries which could be used by each of the partners. Funded by the EU’s INTERREG IVA programme, at least eight routes will be examined which covers the West Coast of Scotland and Ireland, including the Ballycastle to Rathlin route in Northern Ireland.
This strategy will help reduce
overhead costs and increase the potential for efficiency savings through
more joined up working across the jurisdictions.
Ministers from Ireland, north and south, and Scotland have welcomed the development and the benefits that it will bring to the three partnership areas.
Scottish Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said: “This partnership heralds a new way of working together which will improve and enhance ferry services for remote and island communities on both sides of the Irish Sea. In these challenging economic times it is important we improve transport links across Scotland so that communities and individuals can make the fullest possible contribution to our goal of increasing sustainable economic growth for years to come.”
Irish Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht affairs, Éamon Ó Cuiv T.D. added, ”We welcome this new partnership which draws the three Governments together with the shared goal of looking at delivering improved public services by sharing information and best practice while studying the advantages of common design and procurement.”
In welcoming the EU grant, Minister for Regional Development, in the north of Ireland, Conor Murphy said: “Joint co-operation through this partnership will bring benefits and improvements for our most remote communities. I look forward to the Small Ferries Project leading the way for further collaboration to assist the development of small islands.”
Notes to Editors
- The grant of £233,750 has been made by the Special EU INTERREG IVA Programme – a Cross-Border Territorial Cooperation Programme for Northern Ireland, the Border Region and Western Scotland. The overall aim of the INTERREG IVA Programme is to: ‘Support strategic cross-border co-operation for a more prosperous and sustainable region.’
areas covered in this study will include :
- Alt an Chorrain to Leab Gharbn, Arainn Mor
- Alt an Chorrain to Toraigh
- Ballycastle to Rathlin
- Tarbert to Portavadie
- Gigha to Tayinloan
- Oban to Lismore
- Tobermory to Kilchoan
- Sconser to Raasay
- CMAL, who own property at piers and harbours at more than 21 locations throughout Scotland, are embarking on a programme of investment and improvements which will create better facilities and more opportunities for additional ferry services. CMAL also owns 31 ferries which are chartered to a number of operators.
- CMAL is a publicly owned company with Scottish Ministers as the sole shareholder.
- The Department for Regional Development (DRD) is one of 11 Northern Ireland Departments created in 1999 by the Departments (Northern Ireland) Order 1999. Their main responsibilities include regional planning, roads, public transport and certain policy and support work for water and sewerage, air and sea ports;
- The Department of Rural, Community and Gaeltacht Affairs, Ireland aims to promote and support the sustainable and inclusive development of communities both urban and rural, including Gaeltacht and island communities.
For further information contact Andrew Flockhart, CMAL, on 01475-749920 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .