Two meetings will be held in Islay to engage with communities on the requirements and specification of a new ferry to operate between Kennacraig and Islay.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) will host the meetings on 23 March at Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle (ICCI) in Bowmore and on 24 March at Ramsay Hall in Port Ellen.  The two-hour meetings will start at 5.30pm and include a 30-minute presentation followed by a Q&A session with representatives from CMAL, CalMac and Transport Scotland.

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, although it will be developed with a clear focus on freight.

The Islay route is one of the busiest services for freight on the Clyde and Hebrides network.  Sufficient passenger accommodation will also be designed to meet anticipated demand.

The project is in its early stages.  A naval architect consultancy, naValue GmbH, has been appointed by CMAL to support the feasibility analysis phase of the project and the tender programme to award a shipbuilding contract.

Jim Anderson, director of vessels at CMAL, said:

“We are working closely with all parties to develop the specification for a vessel that meets requirements and supports the island’s economic activities.  Engagement with the island community is a key part of the process to ensure user needs are considered during the early planning and feasibility stages.  We would like to see as many people as possible at the meetings.”

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