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The long delayed new ferry terminal facility in Lochmaddy was officially opened today (Monday 26 February)

The Scottish Government-funded Lochmaddy Pier upgrade works, delivered by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar as the harbour authority, have seen the length of the pier extended and a series of other improvements. 

The upgrade works have been completed as part of the Skye Triangle Infrastructure Improvement Programme alongside works at Tarbert, on Harris and Uig, on Skye. This was originally planned to redevelop the ports to accommodate the still unfinished ferry, MV Glen Rosa. 

There is an expanded marshalling area along with a pier extension and strengthening, new fendering and dredging.

Construction work started in Lochmaddy in 2020 – but November 2020, the local authority was forced to terminate a £10m contract for the upgrade works due to the main contractor’s failure to return from lockdown. The firm had initially suspended works at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and did so again in July with the intention of returning to the sites at Lochmaddy and the Inchgreen Drydock on August 10 but failed to so do.

Following a tender process, the project to develop the pier was awarded to contractor George Leslie Limited for £15.3M in February 2022.

At a ceremony in Lochmaddy today,  Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport formally opened the pier. She said: “I’m delighted to have been able to visit and help formally open these upgraded facilities at Lochmaddy Ferry Terminal, which have been funded with £15.7m from the Scottish Government. 

“The new marine infrastructure is already bringing benefits to ferry services through improved berthing facilities, including the strengthened and extended pier, new fendering and an expanded marshalling area. 

“I’d like to thank Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and partners for their hard work in delivering this upgrade and have no doubt it is welcomed by the local communities that rely on these facilities.” 

Councillor Kenny Macleod, the Convener of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, thanked all those involved in the project as well as the community for their continued patience while the works were undertaken.

Councillor Uisdean Robertson, Chair of Transportation at CnES, said: “The delivery of this project alongside the improvement works at Tarbert and Uig has demonstrated the value of close partnership working between Transport Scotland, CMAL, CalMac, Local Authorities and partner organisations.

"The development of the pier in anticipation of the arrival of the ferries currently under construction in Turkey is welcome and will see a dedicated vessel on the Lochmaddy to Uig route.”

The Lochmaddy project and the works at Tarbert and Uig have been coordinated by the Little Minch Routes Infrastructure Group which includes representatives from Highland Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and partner organisations.