CMAL has published an updated three-year corporate plan, which commences this month.
The plan highlights the key projects CMAL intends to undertake and outlines aspirations during the next decade to address the lack of investment in ferries and harbour infrastructure since the turn of the century. Major investment is needed to ensure lifeline services match expectations.
Funding is a key component of the delivery of the many projects outlined in the three-year plan, and in future years. CMAL will work closely with its sponsoring body, Transport Scotland, and Scottish Ministers to secure the necessary funding. CMAL receives its capital funding from the Scottish Government in the form of voted loans for vessels and grant-in-aid for port infrastructure.
Kevin Hobbs, CMAL’s chief executive, said: “There is a lot of work to be done. Planning for large engineering and infrastructure projects takes time and resource. Ideally, funds should be identified and ring-fenced to allow major projects to be developed and delivered in a cost-effective manner. Ultimately, funding decisions will be made by Transport Scotland. It is our responsibility to prepare compelling bids to secure the funding for projects.
“There continues to be tight fiscal constraints regarding all aspects of public spending, and ferry and harbour requirements are competing with other public services. However, CMAL is committed to working collaboratively with colleagues across government departments to achieve the necessary funding which would be transformative.
“Ferries are lifeline services for Scotland’s islands; they need safe, reliable and efficient services. We know what needs to be done and it is our aim to achieve all of it, or as much as we can, within the next decade.”