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Lismore will have a new ferry running to Port Appin by the end of this year.
Argyll and Bute Council has awarded the contract to build the new 12-metre replacement ferry to Welsh marine engineers and workboat builders Mainstay Marine Solutions.
Funded through Transport Scotland, it will cost around £500,000.
The new vessel will be built to meet the specifications set out in new regulations being introduced by the Maritime Coastguard Agency.
Policy Lead for Roads and Amenity Services, Councillor Rory Colville, 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,’ he said, adding the new ferry will ‘future-proof this life-line service for Lismore residents for the next three decades.’
The new all-steel vessel will have a crew of two and space for 23 passengers. Designed by Keel Marine, it has a cruising speed of eight knots.
Once sea trials at Mainstay’s base at Pembroke Dock on the Milford Haven Waterway have been completed, the ferry will steam the 302 nautical miles north to Loch Linnhe for delivery.