The island of Lismore will have a new ferry running to Port Appin by the end of this year after Argyll and Bute Council awarded a £500,000 contract for the replacement vessel.
The council said the 12-metre replacement ferry will be built by Welsh marine engineers and workboat builders Mainstay Marine Solutions ‘to meet the specifications set out in new regulations being introduced by the Maritime Coastguard Agency’.
The 33-year-old existing ferry
Lismore is a small inhabited island near the much larger Isle of Mull in north west Scotland. It is also served by a larger car ferry from Oban on the mainland
Cllr Rory Colville, the council’s policy lead for roads and amenity services, said: ‘Mainstay won the contract in the face of stiff competition from throughout the UK. At 33-years-old, the current Lismore Ferry has served the island well, but it’s time to upgrade.
‘Now, we look forward to working with Mainstay over the coming months to deliver a brand new ferry that will future-proof this life-line service for Lismore residents for the next three decades.’
The new all-steel vessel will cost around £500,000, funded through Transport Scotland.
Designed by Keel Marine, it will have a crew of two and space for 23 passengers, with a cruising speed of eight knots. On completion of sea trials at Mainstay’s base at Pembroke Dock on the Milford Haven Waterway, the ferry will travel the 302 nautical miles north to the delivery point on Loch Linnhe.
Mainstay’s managing director, Stewart Graves, said: ‘As the ferry will provide an essential service to and from Lismore, quality of build and reliability in use were essential.
‘Mainstay are delighted to have won this on the back of their long-standing reputation for delivering vessels that meet those criteria. We look forward to the islanders enjoying excellent service from the ferry for many years to come.’