Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), in partnership with CalMac Ferries Limited and Transport Scotland, will hold an online community consultation meeting in January 2021 to engage island communities and community stakeholders in the design and planning process for the new vessel to service Islay and Jura.  It will be the first community meeting that CMAL has held virtually.

The virtual event will take place on Thursday 14 January 2021, 6.30pm to 8.30pm and will be hosted on Microsoft Teams, which is free to download online.  To participate, please register via Eventbrite at  The event is open to everyone with an interest in the new vessel.

The meeting will provide communities with an update on the new vessel feasibility studies, which have been ongoing throughout 2020.  Key considerations in the extensive range of studies have included: passenger and vehicle requirements; maximising vehicle capacities – particularly for freight; forecast demand; operational requirements; requirements and arrangements for passengers and crew; accessibility; vessel operating speed and timetable; port fits, limitations and improvements; emission and fuel consumption analysis; air quality; reliability, manoeuvrability and seakeeping; shore power and overnight noise; benefits and disbenefits, and costs (capital and operational).

Options for vessel capacities will be presented based on the outcomes of the feasibility studies.  Attendees will have the opportunity to share their views and comments and ask questions during the meeting.

CMAL had to postpone meetings in Bowmore, Port Ellen and Jura in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has been unable to reschedule meetings on the islands due to the ongoing restrictions.

Jim Anderson, Director of Vessels at CMAL said:

“The community meetings are overdue.  We have been liaising with the Islay Community Council Ferry Committee throughout this year and are now in a position for further engagement with the wider island community.  We had hoped to rearrange events for late summer 2020 when there was some relaxation in the restrictions, but we had to balance it carefully with the health and safety of the island communities and our people.

“The events of 2020 mean people are more comfortable than ever with virtual meetings and technology, so we have decided this is our best option until we can return to Islay and Jura safely.  There will be opportunity for discussion and questions, and we urge everyone who can make it to register now to attend.  One of the benefits of having the meeting online is that we can record and make it available later for those who can’t make the date and time.”

All presentations will be available on the CMAL website after the meeting and an updated Q&A document will be published.

Questions, or any other queries, regarding the project can be emailed to  Alternatively, write to Jim Anderson at Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited, Municipal Buildings, Fore Street, Port Glasgow, PA14 5EQ.

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.

Categories: Press