Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has shared information on the new Islay vessel project with the Islay community to maintain engagement during the Covid-19 restrictions.

Two community meetings due to take place in Bowmore and Port Ellen at the end of March had to be postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown.  CMAL has so far been unable to rearrange the community engagement meetings, but is hoping to reschedule them for later in the summer, subject to coronavirus restrictions and safety guidelines.

In the meantime, a project update in the form of a Q&A document has been shared with local community stakeholders, such as Islay Community Council and ferry committee, and published on the CMAL website 

The new Islay ferry is the next major vessel to be ordered for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service.  It will complement the service provided by MV Finlaggan.  Planning for the new vessel began last summer through a project working group of CMAL, Transport Scotland and CalMac. The project is currently at the feasibility analysis stage, which is being led by CMAL with support from naval architecture consultants and other specialists.

Further questions not covered in the Q&A can be emailed to

Jim Anderson, director of vessels at CMAL, said:

“We are very keen to reinstate the community meetings and we will arrange new dates as soon as it is safe to do so within the health and safety and travel guidelines.  We are working closely with community groups on the island to make this possible.

“Hopefully, in the meantime, the information we’ve shared will help to answer some of the questions islanders and ferry users may have and we have set-up a project email address where additional questions can be submitted.  We’ll respond directly to enquires, and also update the Q&A online.”

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