The Small Ferries Project is a unique study to establish how best to design and build a fleet of small ferries to serve remote communities off the Scottish and Irish coastlines.
Thanks to an EU grant of more than £230,000, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) has partnered with the Department for Regional Development in the north of Ireland and the Department of Rural, Community and Gaeltacht Affairs in the south to examine a common design and procurement strategy for small ferries which could be used by each of the partners.
Funded by the EU’s INTERREG IVA programme, at least eight routes will be examined which covers the West Coast of Scotland and Ireland, including the Ballycastle to Rathlin route in Northern Ireland.
This strategy will help reduce overhead costs and increase the potential for efficiency savings through more joined up working across the jurisdictions.
Community consultation will be crucial to the study and the working group will visit as many typical communities as possible to identify needs, challenges and opportunities.
Ministers from Ireland, north and south, and Scotland have welcomed the development and the benefits that it will bring to the three partnership areas.