Taskforce meets to discuss Ardrossan Harbour redevelopment

Taskforce meets to discuss Ardrossan Harbour redevelopment

The taskforce assembled to take forward the paused project to redevelop Ardrossan Harbour has met to discuss the next steps for the planned upgrade of the facility.

North Ayrshire Council’s cabinet approved an agreement last June that triggered the beginning of the procurement process for the multi-million-pound redevelopment.

However, the project was paused when Transport Scotland said the tender design stage identified that costs had risen significantly since the start of the project.

Taking significant construction inflation and the expanded scope of the works into account, Transport Scotland said at the time that the project plans now include technically challenging and costly berth realignment marine works to better accommodate new ferries, allow better vessel interoperability and ultimately improve service reliability and resilience.

Chaired by cabinet secretary for transport Fiona Hyslop, the Ardrossan Harbour Taskforce meeting saw members share their views on the review of the business case for the project. This allowed them to highlight key areas where the review could be strengthened to better reflect the needs of the communities who rely on the service.

The business case will be considered by Transport Scotland’s investment decision making board in early June, before being considered by ministers ahead of the summer recess.

Ms Hyslop said: “I was pleased to be able to chair the Taskforce and wish to thank all members for their attendance and constructive views during the meeting. I value the input from project partners and community representatives, which will help us come to an informed decision on the way forward for the project.

“Scottish Ministers have been clear the business case to support the harbour upgrade needs to be robust to give greater certainty on the project costs and financial packages required. A review of the business case is ongoing and this Taskforce meeting was an opportunity for project partners to emphasise their position with me in person to help inform our consideration.

“I remain committed to the Taskforce process and my officials will keep members up-to-date on all developments around this vital project.”

North Ayrshire Council leader Marie Burns said: “This was a positive meeting and it’s encouraging to see the business case for Ardrossan Harbour progressing. It’s clear Ardrossan remains the harbour of choice for the Arran ferry and we hope to see a decision made as soon possible which will allow the much-needed improvements at the harbour to progress.

“The Ardrossan-Brodick route is the shortest, most economical, and greenest ferry route between Arran and the mainland, providing the best long-term solution for our communities and the local economy.”

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