13 September 2019

In April 2018, Scottish Ministers announced that Islay would be next in line for a new ferry to replace the MV Hebridean Isles.

The Islay ferry project is now in its early stages and we are working closely with CalMac and Transport Scotland on the development of the vessel, which will be shaped through consultation with the Island community and a business case.

The new ferry will complement the current MV Finlaggan, although it will be designed with a clear focus on freight, including the capability to operate a possible overnight freight service.  The Islay route is one of the busiest routes for freight on the Clyde and Hebrides network. Sufficient passenger accommodation will be designed to meet anticipated passenger demand.

The vessel tender programme is planned to commence in early 2020, and it is anticipated a shipbuilding contract will be awarded in Autumn 2020.

Design consultants appointed

In August 2019, we appointed naval architecture consultants, Navalue to support design development.  Navalue specialises in custom ferry design and have significant experience of vessel design, having led on the design of MV Loch Seaforth, which operates on the Stornoway-Ullapool route.

Public meetings

A meeting with stakeholders from the community was held in Islay in August 2019, attended by CMAL, Transport Scotland and CalMac, to present details of the current status of the project.  A copy of the presentation is available to view below.  The stakeholders  had the opportunity to ask any questions they had about the new Islay vessel.

We plan to hold further meetings with the extended Islay community in the near future.

You can view the presentation from our community meeting here: