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£1.7m to improve ferry resilience.
The island of Kerrera is set to benefit from a significant upgrade to its ferry berthing facilities, Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay announced today.
Around £1.7 million will be invested in the construction of a new breakwater and the extension of the slipway. The project also includes an extension to the Gallanach slipway at the mainland end of the crossing.
Speaking ahead of today's meeting of the Convention of the Highlands and Islands, Mr Mackay said:
"I'm delighted to announce this improvement programme for Kerrera, which will bring real benefits to the community that depend on the ferry service.
"By building a new breakwater and extending the slipways, we will improve ferry resilience and lessen the impact of poor weather conditions.
"It will also mean that current tidal restrictions on vehicle-carrying services will be lifted, allowing a better flow of vessels between the two ends of the route.
"This investment is further proof of the Scottish Government's commitment to providing the best possible ferry services for the communities that rely on them and ensuring that our islands remain an attractive and accessible destination for visitors."
The works, which will be delivered by Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), will commence on 4th January 2016 and will be completed in the Summer of 2016.
Following consultation with the local community, a pedestrian only service will operate from 18th January 2016 for a period of 6 weeks.
Ruairidh Campbell, Project Manager at CMAL, said:
"CMAL is delighted to be managing the delivery of this marine investment on Kerrera as part of our ongoing commitment to develop and maintain our port and harbour infrastructure.
"We are looking forward to working with the contractor and strengthening our relationship with the ferry operator and local community".
Today's meeting of the Convention of the Highlands and Islands (COHI) will be attended by Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay, Deputy First Minister John Swinney and a number of other relevant Ministers, as well as the island councils and various public bodies central to island life.
Working to identify and address collaboratively issues of key importance across the region. The range of ministers involved demonstrates the government's willingness to engage across portfolios and its commitment to tackling issues jointly with members of COHI.
The construction work will be carried out by Barrhead-based firm, George Leslie Ltd, who won the contract following a competitive procurement process.
The Convention of the Highlands and Islands (COHI) meeting takes place on Monday 5th October in The Alexander Graham Bell Centre, Moray College UHI, Elgin.
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Transport Scotland is the Scottish Government's national transport agency responsible for; aviation, bus and freight policy; coordinating the National Transport Strategy for Scotland; ferries, ports and harbours; impartial travel services; liaising with regional transport partnerships, including monitoring of funding; local roads policy; major public transport projects; national concessionary travel schemes; rail and trunk road networks; sustainable transport, road safety and accessibility; the Blue Badge Scheme. Transport Scotland is an Executive agency accountable to Scottish Ministers. http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/