Glasgow & West Scotland

Summer ferry link announced for Kintyre peninsula

CalMac ferry
Image caption The new CalMac service will run three times a week

A new summer ferry service has been announced in a bid to boost tourism and trade to the Kintyre peninsula.

The service, run by CalMac on behalf of Transport Scotland, will operate three times a week from Ardrossan to Campbeltown, with an extra stop at Brodick, on Arran, on Saturday.

The ferry will start on 23 May to tie in with the Mull of Kintyre Half Marathon and 10k race three days later.

It will also aim to boost attendance at May's Kintyre Songwriter's Festival.

The new service was announced on Monday by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during the official opening ceremony of Campbeltown New Quay.

'Community spirit'

The £4.6m development aims to establish Campbeltown and Machrihanish as a centre for the renewable energy industry in Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon said: "This new pilot project will help to develop that sense of community spirit further by providing an additional transport link that will boost trade and tourism opportunities for the area and develop the local economy."

She added: "Opening the new quay marks a significant milestone - not only for the local community in Argyll, but for the whole of Scotland.

"This will be the first of many of the renewables sites to come into full working use across the country, helping to create new employment opportunities and drive forward this important industry."

CalMac managing director, Martin Dorchester, said the new service was the first new route for the firm and the Argyll area in nearly 20 years.

"We are confident it will prove very popular with locals and visitors alike who now have an attractive alternative to the overland route," he said.

"In addition to benefiting the communities in Kintyre, Arran and Ayrshire, we expect it to increase traffic to the rest of Argyll and beyond."

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