A new social media campaign has been launched to highlight the crucial role of Shetland’s inter-island ferry service and emphasise the case for vital funding.
Shetland Islands Council’s campaign will share stories from across the isles who depend on the service, using the Twitter hashtag #MyFerry.
The case studies, which will be shared with politicians and organisations supporting the campaign, feature a wide cross section of folk, including a high school student, health worker, salmon farmer and more.
It follows repeated calls to the Scottish government to provide funding for the service, which has an ageing fleet and infrastructure, and is running at a £5.5m deficit.
The SIC’s political leader Steven Coutts said: “We are highlighting how crucial our ferries are to people in our island communities, to live their lives in the best way they can.
“Our internal ferry services are critical in the support they provide to our economy and we’re hopeful we can persuade the Scottish government to increase its funding, which we believe is a lifeline for our people as well as an investment for Scotland as a whole.
“What we’re asking for is sufficient funding to preserve the service we have, to upgrade those routes which need it with new vessels and infrastructure, and to take advantage of new technologies to develop our internal links into the future.
“I’d like to emphasise that this is not about any future fixed links, but about the present challenges being faced by our ferry fleet and the wider council finances.
“We’re hoping that the hashtag will be shared widely by our community in the weeks ahead so that people all over the country can see the lifeline these ferries offer us, and the economic opportunities they unlock for Scotland.”