Replacement Fair Isle ferry gets final approval from SIC

A £25 million bid for funding to replace the aging Fair Isle ferry Good Shepherd was given final approval at a full council meeting on Wednesday.

The outline business case had been given the green-light by the environment and transport and policy and resources committees earlier this month.

The SIC will now bid for just under £25 million from the UK government’s Levelling Up fund, which will go towards a replacement ferry and renovations to the Grutness and Fair Isle piers.

The bid needs to be placed by the end of this week and councillor Allison Duncan questioned whether the council were confident they would meet the tight timescale constraints surrounding the bid.

“Yes we are,” ZetTrans lead officer Michael Craigie responded.

Councillor Davie Sandison asked what the “plan B” would be if the UK government were to reject the bid, to which Mr Craigie responded they would apply to the Scottish government instead.

Mr Duncan said the Fair Isle community had been “very patient” and added the new ferry would be “vital for the improvement and continuation of the island economy”.

He said the Scottish government “should be ashamed of themselves” for not funding the ferry quicker.

SIC chief executive Maggie Sandison said that replacing the Fair Isle ferry had “always been a priority” for the council.


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