Bids for the long-awaited Fair Isle ferry replacement have been submitted.
The SIC’s development director Neil Grant confirmed the bids had been received last week and were now being evaluated.
It follows the launch of a £5.4m tendering exercise in October – and the awarding of £27m in UK government Levelling Up funding in January.
The project will see the ageing Good Shepherd IV replaced with a new mono-hulled workboat with capacity for 12 passengers.
It will also see extensive harbour improvements carried out in Grutness and Fair Isle.
While the new boat is scheduled to enter service by October 2025, council officials and members have expressed concern at the tight timeframe for getting the work done.
Under rules of the Levelling Up contract, projects must be completed by 2026 to be eligible for the funding.
Councillors are expected to consider the final business case by the end of this year.
Addressing Monday’s environment and transport committee, Mr Grant was unable to discuss the submissions in more detail due to the procurement process.
A report to the committee showed the council was on track to spend the £4.6m budget allocated to the project this year.