People in Iona can look forward to continued ferry services thanks to a vital £1.2million investment from Argyll and Bute Council to repair the bottom end of the island’s ferry slipway.
The work is expected to begin in March and be complete by the start of the busy summer season.
The lower end of the slipway has degraded over time and, without this significant intervention by the local authority, it could deteriorate further.
The work will include:
- Removal of existing concrete and infill materials
- Preparation of exposed surfaces to receive the new work
- fit new pre-cast concrete slabs and connect to the existing ones
- New concreting
- General concrete repairs
During the works the contractor will be working hard to ensure that access is maintained, ideally through a vehicle ferry but if this is not practical, then a passenger only service will be provided.
Chair of the Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Committee, Councillor Roddy McCuish, said of the news: ‘’This is a real good news story for people on both Mull and Iona. By ensuring the pier remains serviceable for at least the next twenty years we’re ensuring that these two communities stay linked and that Iona remains accessible to thousands of tourists each year, which obviously has real tangible economic benefits to both islands.
‘’The council had identified this as a priority some time ago and, although it has taken time to get the financial package in place, we are now ready to go. I look forward to the work beginning in early March, with the project hopefully being completed around the end of May, although timescales for these kind of projects are, as ever, dependent on the weather.’’
Policy lead for island affairs, Councillor Len Scoullar, said: ‘’This is another great example of the council’s strong commitment to our island communities; in these difficult financial times we are still investing in projects that will have real benefits to our island economies.
‘’Our islands play a vital role in delivering economic growth across the area. We want to see them prosper and grow, providing a future for our young people, supporting and growing our businesses and benefiting from vital infrastructure such as this.
‘’Iona is a real draw for tourists and, with the Scottish Government’s introduction of the road equivalent tariff (RET) we are expecting even more visitors, which is why I warmly welcome this project which will secure access to the island for the foreseeable future.’’