The long-awaited upgrades to Lochmaddy Pier in North Uist will soon get underway after the £15.3 million contract was given to George Leslie Ltd.
Western Isles Council has been looking for a contractor to carry out repairs and upgrades to the Lochmaddy Pier to improve ferry services for North Uist.
Following the announcement in 2015 that the MV Hebrides would be retired, the council began looking to upgrade the pier with support from other organisations.
The new larger ferries being built for CalMac would require additional infrastructure at ferry terminals across the west coast of Scotland.
This includes the Skye triangle ferry route travelling between North Uist, Skye and the Isle of Harris.
Improvement works have recently been completed in Tarbert, Harris, and are ongoing at Uig, Skye.
Civil engineering contractor George Leslie Ltd has been awarded the £15.3million contract to carry out the upgrade works.
Work required at Lochmaddy will include strengthening the existing pier, dredging the seabed and expanding passenger facilities such as car parks and marshalling areas.
The project will begin in March 2022 and finish in spring 2023. While work is ongoing, CalMac will still run services to and from Lochmaddy.
‘Improved experience for important services’
Transport minister Jenny Gilruth, said: “I am very pleased to see the planned upgrade of Lochmaddy Pier moving forward with the award of this contract.
“It maintains the momentum following the recent completion of the improvement works at Tarbert and the recent award of the contract for improvement works at Uig.
“Work can now begin again on the construction phase of the project, which will deliver an improved experience for the passengers who use these important services.
“The Scottish Government is providing an investment of £580 million in ports and vessels to support and improve Scotland’s ferry services over the next five years, as part of our wider Infrastructure Investment Plan.”
Uisdean Robertson, chairman of Western Isles Council’s transportation and infrastructure committee, said: “We are very pleased to have reached this very important milestone in the delivery of infrastructure improvements for the wider Skye Triangle route.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Transport Scotland, with CMAL and now with George Leslie Ltd in making significant improvements to the pier and marshalling areas at Lochmaddy.
“We are confident that the investment in port infrastructure across the Skye Triangle routes will make a significant contribution to growing and sustaining efficient and effective transport links for the islands.”