New Vessel for IslayIslay Vessel Enabling WorksPort Ellen Terminal Development

A project to increase the vehicle marshalling area, increase staff and visitor parking, improve port operations for commercial use, improve passenger access to vessels, and explore the location and size of an area for a proposed new terminal building.

Port Ellen—Harbour Legislation project

View details and sign up to receive future updates on the Harbour Revision Order which provides statutory consent for the construction works to progress
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Ground Investigation works complete

27 November 2023

CMAL is pleased to confirm that the Ground Investigation works for the proposed new ferry terminal at Port Ellen have been completed successfully. Despite challenging weather conditions that had a significant impact on progress, works were completed on schedule.

We would like to thank the local stakeholders and the community for their support and patience during the disruption to the ferry service caused by these works.

The works represent a crucial milestone in the detailed design works for the proposed new Ferry terminal.

All plant and equipment have been demobilised from the site, including the work barge, and the ferry service returned to Port Ellen as planned on 18 November 2023.

Project moves onto the Final Business Case stage

11 September 2023

Following a review of the Outline Business Case by Transport Scotland in June 2023, the Port Ellen Terminal Development (PETD) Project has been approved to progress to the Final Business Case (FBC) stage, based on the option five design proposal.

This stage will include:

  • The undertaking of marine ground investigation works to inform the design of works
  • Detailed design works
  • Environmental Impact Assessment Works
  • Consenting works (Harbour Revision Order & Marine License)
  • Implementation of procurement strategy

A further Transport Scotland review and approval will be required before the Project can move to the Construction stage.

Port Ellen Terminal Development Project Progresses to Next Stage

21 July 2023

A programme of ground investigation work is set to begin from 21st August 2023 at Port Ellen ferry terminal.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) is leading the development project to deliver upgraded berth infrastructure and terminal improvements to accommodate the two ferries being built for Islay, which the public has voted to be named MV Isle of Islay and MV Loch Indaal…

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Outline Business Case Update

18 May 2023

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) are now finalising the Outline Business Case (OBC) for the proposed option to upgrade the ferry terminal at Port Ellen.

Port Ellen Redevelopment—Option 5 3D Rendering

Video and image are an artist’s impression. Design is still in development and subject to change. Produced by Mott MacDonald.

This option will provide the required marshalling capacity to accommodate the existing and new Islay vessels. It will significantly improve traffic management and safety, pedestrian access, and enhance active and sustainable travel options for all users. The plans include the creation of a new ferry terminal, an additional commercial berth that will considerably improve the resilience of the ferry service, and a segregated area for commercial activity at Port Ellen.

The Outline Business Case is due to be submitted for review by Transport Scotland in early summer 2023. If approved, the project team will proceed to the detailed design phase, including ground investigation works. In addition, works to complete a Harbour Revision Order and gain a Marine License for the proposed works will start in earnest. The project team are undertaking several environmental surveys to inform the Environmental Impact Assessment works that will feed into the Marine License application.


Presentation and feedback survey

30 January 2023

Following the community meeting held on 26 January, the presentation slides and a link to the feedback survey are available below. (Feedback survey now closed).

Both options for Port Ellen can also be viewed in the video below:

If you have any further queries, or would like to pass on any further written feedback, email

Community drop-in event

16 January 2023

Islanders are invited to attend a drop-in session on proposed improvements and upgrades at Port Ellen Ferry Terminal.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) is hosting the event on Thursday 26 January at Ramsay Hall in Port Ellen. Those interested are welcome to visit at a convenient time between 3 pm and 6.30 pm. Public engagement regarding the improvements began in July 2022.

Representatives from CMAL and design consultants Mott MacDonald will be joined by representatives from ferry operator CalMac to share updates, answer questions, and seek feedback from the community.

The project team will share information on design options, results from the wave data modelling and the impact of these options on the wave ‘climate’ within Port Ellen’s harbour. The team will explain how these criteria are appraised against two best practice frameworks – Transport Planning Objectives and Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance.

Read the full update here.


Additional wave modelling works required

 22 November 2022

Extra wave modelling work is being carried out to gain greater certainty on the wave climate to inform the design proposals for Port Ellen Terminal Development.

Once this work is completed, designs will be updated and shared with the community.  Community meetings will be arranged and these are likely to take place in early 2023.


Frequently asked questions

7 September 2022

Frequently asked questions on the Port Ellen Terminal Development project have been collated following community engagement events, and are available to view on the link below.

For any further queries, please contact


Exhibition and consultation survey

23 June 2022

Following the community meeting held on 22 June, exhibition slides and a link to the consultation survey are below (the survey has now closed).

If you have any further queries, or would like to pass on any further written feedback, email


Summer community event

30 May 2022

We are 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.

Wave survey equipment at Port EllenWave survey equipment at Port Ellen

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.


Outline business case for ferry terminal project

February 2022

This briefing note, compiled by Mott MacDonald, provides information on the business case process to be followed for the project, an outline programme, and the approach to stakeholder engagement and public consultation.


Green light for outline project business case

7 December 2021

We are progressing detailed plans for significant investment and upgrade at Port Ellen Ferry Terminal after Transport Scotland approved the findings of a strategic planning study.

Our study identified space constraints at the terminal, including the vehicle marshalling area and terminal building, as well as opportunities to improve port operations and passenger access to and from vessels.  As part of the study, we developed a range of high-level options to address these matters.

Mott MacDonald has been appointed to work with us to develop the outline business case with costs, an assessment of a range of solutions, and a recommend preferred option.  Topographical, bathymetric, geophysical and wave monitoring surveys to inform the next-level business case will be conducted from December 2021.

Engagement with the community is scheduled to take place in spring 2022 to support the development of proposals.  More information will be published here in due course.


First project reference group meeting

7 December 2021

A project reference group has been appointed to represent the views of the community, including ferry users, marina users, the fishing community and commercial users.

The first reference group meeting was held on Wednesday 1 December 2021.

Engagement with the wider community, through virtual or in-person events and meetings (depending on COVID-19 guidance), is scheduled for spring 2022.