Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) is hosting a community engagement event to update islanders on proposed improvements and upgrades at Port Ellen Ferry Terminal.

The event will take place on Wednesday 22 June 2022, 3.00pm-6.30pm at Ramsay Hall in Port Ellen.  It will be a drop-in session and those interested are welcome to visit at a convenient time.  Civil engineers from CMAL and its partner consultant firm, Mott MacDonald will be joined by CalMac and Transport Scotland representatives to share design options and seek feedback from the community.

The Port Ellen terminal development project will increase the vehicle marshalling area, increase staff and visitor parking, improve port operations for commercial use, improve passenger access to vessels, and deliver a new terminal building.

Engineers are exploring project scope and parameters and design options.  Topographical, bathymetric and wave monitoring surveys have been conducted on-site to inform potential designs.  The preferred option is likely to be approved towards the end of 2022, followed by a two-year programme of design, consents and procurement.  Construction will be live between 2024 and 2026.

Paul Colenso, senior civil engineer at CMAL, said:

“Significant investment is required at Port Ellen and our plans are designed to strengthen the resilience of the harbour to support ferry services and other port activities, as well as improve passenger experience.  Ferries are an essential service for islanders to support their day-to-day lives, and visitor demand is on the rise.  Islay is one of Scotland’s tourism hot spots and is home to several of the best-known whisky distilleries, who have significant freight requirements.

“After several months of engineering planning and surveys, we’re now in a position to share proposals and design options for upgrade of the ferry terminal with the community and seek their feedback.  The community engagement event is an opportunity for islanders and stakeholders to engage in the process and find out how ferry infrastructure will be improved.”

Additional community engagement is facilitated through a project reference group, which is represented by ferry users, marina users, the fishing community and commercial users.  The third reference group meeting will be held in June.

Two other projects are underway by CMAL to further improve the island’s ferry infrastructure.

The Port Ellen traffic management improvements project will improve traffic and pedestrian management at the current terminal layout.  Work is planned for July/August 2022, with minimal impact on the ferry service.

The Islay vessels enabling works project will upgrade pier infrastructure at Port Ellen, Port Askaig, Colonsay and Kennacraig to enable two new vessels to moor and berth.  Work includes fender modifications at all four locations; dredging at Port Ellen, Kennacraig and Colonsay to deepen berths; pier strengthening at Kennacraig; a new wider linkspan at Port Ellen; and mooring aid installation at Port Askaig on behalf of Argyll & Bute Council.  Pre-construction work is ongoing and scheduled to be completed by summer 2023.  Construction will be completed by autumn 2024.

The plans for Port Ellen form part of a 10-year programme of investment by CMAL, backed by £580 million from the Scottish Government for five years from 2021 to 2026.  Plans will deliver 21 new vessels for the fleet and multi-million-pound upgrade of harbour infrastructure over the next decade.  Further multi-million-pound investment will be needed to fund plans from 2026 onwards.

Submit your feedback and complete the consultation survey by Sunday 17 July.  The exhibition slides, and link to the consultation survey can be found here.


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