Proposals revealed for retaining Ardrossan to Brodick ferry link
Details of a multi-million pound investment have been unveiled
Arran: Photo credit - Flickr kevinmcc
Details of the multi-million pound investment being developed by Peel Ports and North Ayrshire Council to retain the Ardrossan to Brodick ferry link have been revealed.
High level proposals unveiled at North Ayrshire’s Economic Development and Regeneration Board aim to save the link as the “shortest, fastest and cheapest” route to Arran.
The proposals would see Ardrossan Harbour owners Peel Ports invest in significant infrastructure upgrades at the site.
Earlier this year the future of the service was put in doubt when the owners of Troon harbour made an unexpected bid to lure it away from its traditional home at Ardrossan.
Joe Cullinane, leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: "These proposals add real strength to the already compelling case for retaining the Ardrossan to Brodick ferry route and begin to flesh out our ambitious plans for Ardrossan, Arran and the wider area.
“Some ill-informed and anonymous claims have been circulating recently that Ardrossan would need £30 million of public subsidy to bring it up to standard.
"Let me just put that claim to rest once and for all. The money required to adapt and upgrade the infrastructure at Ardrossan Harbour to make sure it's fit for the new vessel will come from the private sector - from Peel Ports.
“We are acutely conscious of the need to spend public money wisely and for the benefit of local people, so I’m very happy to confirm that the investment from the council will contribute to improvements which focus on the wider regeneration of the area.
"Our investment will safeguard existing jobs and create new local jobs by maximising the potential of retaining the ferry link - such as attracting one million visitors per year to our area.”
Meanwhile, North Ayrshire Council will complement Peel Ports’ investment with improvements to the passenger terminal, roads, car park, the public realm and connectivity with the town centre.
The council investment forms part of the Ardrossan Harbour masterplan and is a key strand of the wider Ayrshire Growth Deal, supported by all three Ayrshire local authorities.
The council said the proposals would “significantly improve” passenger and berthing facilities at Ardrossan for the new generation of ferries being introduced by Calmac in 2018.
Peel Ports and North Ayrshire Council will seek input from key stakeholders over the next few weeks before presenting the proposals to Transport Minister Humza Yousaf before Christmas.
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