Scotland business

CalMac 'supports turnover of £270m in Scots companies'

Ferry Image copyright caledonian macbrayne

Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) supports a total turnover of nearly £270m in companies across Scotland, according to new analysis.

The Fraser of Allander Institute found CalMac employed 1,476 people and supported 5,883 jobs in Scottish mainland and island communities.

It was also described as a key channel of support for commercial activity on the islands it serves.

Last year alone, it carried 92,734 commercial vehicles.

The report estimated that CalMac's £145m turnover supported a total turnover of £269.8m in firms around Scotland.

Last month, the UK's largest ferry network operator reported an increase in the number of cars and passengers carried in 2014.

CalMac, which runs 26 routes, said it carried 4,653,958 passengers and 1,095,816 cars.

The number of passengers was at a four-year high, while the number of cars was at its highest level since 2009.

Exports and imports

Report author Stewart Dunlop, research fellow at the institute, said: "Items exported from the islands include food and drink products, notably high value exports such as whisky and shellfish, both of which contribute significantly to total Scottish exports.

"In terms of imports, CalMac's activity covers the majority of items sold by local retailers, including fuel, food, mail, medical supplies, oil, gas and utilities, without which it would be difficult to maintain an acceptable quality of life on the islands."

CalMac Ferries managing director Martin Dorchester said: "We see our role as being to deliver the highest possible value to the island and mainland communities we serve by the investment we make in people, in the transport sector and in the Scottish economy as a whole.

"That value can only be delivered effectively by ensuring that we go beyond simply being a transport provider.

"That means delivering essential, lifeline services which provide access to work, education and health services, help people maintain contact with family and friends and ensure supplies of fresh food, fuel and mail to local people."

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