Meeting papers - 22 March 2023 - Ardrossan Harbour Taskforce


  • Jenny Gilruth MSP - Co Chair - Minister for Transport (MfT)
  • Cllr Marie Burns - Co Chair - North Ayrshire Council (MB)
  • Craig Hatton - Chief Executive – North Ayrshire Council (CH)
  • Kenneth Gibson - MSP (KG)
  • Bill Calderwood - Isle of Arran Ferry Committee - Secretary (BC)
  • Iain Thomson - Isle of Arran Ferry Committee – Chairman (IT)
  • Colin Bradford - Regeneration Manager– North Ayrshire Council (CB)
  • Bruce McClure - Senior Manager, Growth & Investment, North Ayrshire Council (BM)
  • Lewis McIntyre - Peel Ports Group –Managing Director, Port Services (LMcI) via Teams
  • John McCormack - Peel Ports Group – Senior Project Manager (JMc)
  • Pauline Blackshaw - Director of Strategy & Change, CFL (CalMac) (PB)
  • Philip Cordiner - Operational Change Manager, CFL (PC)
  • Ruairidh Campbell - CMAL - Project Manager (GMcG)
  • Don McKillop - Area Manager, CFL (DM)
  • Kevin Hobbs - CMAL

Transport Scotland officials

  • Chris Wilcock – Head of Ferries Branch
  • Caroline Connelly – Head of Ferries Infrastructure and Secretariat to Task Force
  • Andy Anderson – Ferries Infrastructure Team


  • Lauren McEwan - Operational Planning Manager - CFL (CalMac) (LMcE)
  • Roddy Macdonald - Director of Ferries - Transport Scotland
  • James Anderson - CMAL
  • Robbie Drummond - CalMac
  • Andy Crossan - CMAL
  • David Torrance - TS - Head of Contracts, Procurement & Projects (DT)
  • Russell McCutcheon - NAC - Executive Director

Welcome and Introductions

  • MfT welcomed everyone to the meeting. MfT confirmed that this meeting was scheduled specifically to obtain update on progress of tender due to lack of progress from previous Task Force meetings of January 2023 and June 2022.
  • Apologies were conveyed as noted above.

Actions – previous Task Force meetings

23 February 2022 Task Force

  • Legal/Commercial Agreements - ongoing
  • CalMac - Service Continuity Public Consultation - Completed
  • Marine Works – Technical Query. This will be progressed as part of the tender stage - ongoing

28 June 2022 Task Force

  • Pre-tender exercise outcome report - Completed
  • Communications sub group - NAC Landside Public Consultation communications/sharing of Outcome Report - Completed
  • Landside - parking layout for hauliers - ongoing; meeting to be arranged with PPG NAC TS and IOAFC
  • Troon Timetables - Public Consultation Completed - timetable development ongoing. TS arranging meeting with CalMac in coming weeks and thereafter with IOAFC
  • Crew Recruitment - CalMac - offer of support. Completed
  • Troon - passenger facilities (interim operational option) - Completed
  • Ardrossan Fenders – July 2022 meeting completed. Engagement ongoing between IOAFC, CalMac and PPG. Ministerial Meeting 16 March 2023 - Completed
  • Service Reliability – July 2022 meeting completed. Engagement ongoing between IOAFC and CalMac. Ministerial Meeting 16 March 2023 - Completed

23 January 2023 Task Force:

  • Tender progress – all partners to expedite works to move to full tender stage as early as possible
  • Task Force – to reconvene in March 2023 and July 2023: 25 July 2023 provisional date agreed
  • Steering Group Meetings – project partners have scheduled technical sub group and steering group meetings during February and March to progress the tender stage
  • Terminal Building – purchase option – NAC response completed
  • Troon stakeholder visits to be arranged - 17th March visit has been undertaken
  • Troon – Ministerial visit to be arranged – ongoing
  • Communications – to improve these, update & issue Q&A and engage more with IOAFC on project matters - Q&A completed. Engagement ongoing
  • Vessel Deployment – to provide clarity on vessel deployment (including crew familiarisation) & LNG sensors.  Deputy First Minister announcement on 16 March 2023
  • Vessel Deployment – update IOAFC on timeline to ensure continuity of service once MVGS is deployed – related to Action above

16 March 2023 – Meeting with Mft, IOAFC and CalMac

  • Fenders – PPG to provide clarity over fender repair works, and reassurance that the Arran berth is fit for purpose for ferry services. Completed

Ardrossan Steering Group Update

Tender Stage

  • PPG confirmed a lot of work has been done via technical sub group meetings - bringing all of the marine and landside interfaces together with the passenger access system and quayside works. Further surveys will be undertaken for example marine bore holes and review of dredging requirements at the berth.
  • The main challenge remains the programme, although progressing to market tender stage is expected June 2023. If programme remains this would see works commence early 2024 and completion by 2026. Although delivering the project earlier where practicable with a contractor once appointed.
  • IOAFC asked for the programme to be expedited where possible and for tender stage to be completed by end 2023.
  • IOAFC queried dredge depth for all vessels.  It was confirmed that this was being considered as part of a Technical Question

Landside Update - North Ayrshire Council

  • Confirmed progress outlined by PPG on technical sub groups and work undertaken thus far.
  • Legal & Commercial arrangements between PPG, NAC, TS are being progressed and will be completed in parallel
  • Concerns remain around the project estimated cost and potential funding gap
  • NAC advised that questions had been raised on the design of the terminal building.  NAC confirmed that this has been designed with operator requirements and feedback from the community, however the size and specification had been reviewed on a number of occasions. There will be an opportunity as part of the Tender as a design and build contract  for a contractor to suggest cost savings and/or value engineering options which may or may not reduce the overall cost of the building.
  • IOAFC raised the concern over Freight overnight facilities and acknowledged a meeting with PPG, NAC and TS was being arranged
  • NAC confirmed ongoing engagement with SPT

IOAFC Update

  • IOAFC are encouraged by the progress made around the programme and progressing to tender by June 2023.
  • IOAFC re-iterated specification of terminal building and for cost savings to be made.
  • CalMac stated that value engineering process within procurement stage needs to be robust with all parties being involved. This is an Action.
  • IOAFC acknowledged improved involvement in the project and communications remain a key element and to ensure that views are heard and responded to.

Vessels Update - CMAL

  • CMAL referred to the Deputy First Minister’s announcement on 16 March 2023, which confirmed a delay to MVGS as Autumn 2023.
  • Positive dry dock visit with main generators being checked this week and safety critical systems being tested.
  • CMAL are confident as no problems expected with these system checks and completion date.
  • CMAL confirmed the vessel is expected to be deployed as fully commissioned with LNG/MGO
  • Mft stated that the Deputy First Minister was visiting the Fergusons yard today and that Scottish Minister apologies to the Arran community of the regrettable delay,
  • Mft went onto add that Scottish Ministers are looking for improved assurances are vessel contracts including guarantees following the outcome of the Audit Scotland Report.

Service Continuity - CalMac

  • TS and CalMac are arranging to meet in the forthcoming weeks to discuss service levels and Troon Timetables. The IOAFC will be part of the discussion process.
  • Shuttle Bus Tender – expected to be issued early April 2023.
  • CalMac continues to dialogue and engage with all relevant partners.
  • Berthing Trials – no recent opportunity to complete these with the Isle of Arran or Caledonian Isles due to overhaul commitments.

Legal & Commercial Arrangements - Transport Scotland

  • Whilst it is recognised that there has been a lot of work undertaken since the last Task Force, completion of the legal/commercial agreements remain outstanding although discussions have been positive acknowledging the complexities of the project.

Troon Infrastructure Project - Update

  • The recent stakeholder visit on 17 March 2023 went well, with IOAFC, Troon Community Council and Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce. As part of the visit it was confirmed that the working group will be undertaking a run through of the site facilities, and thereafter will be undertaking a further check of the site with businesses/community representatives. This is being arranged in association with the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, CalMac and the project partners. More details to follow in the very near future.
  • The fit out of the temporary terminal building by Portakabin is nearing completion with handover to CalMac expected early April 2023. CalMac will then fit out the building including IT provisions.
  • Consents/engagement regarding sewage discharge treatment with SEPA and South Ayrshire Council is ongoing. IOAFC raised HGV overnight freight facility, this is currently being discussed with ABP and CalMac.
  • Completion of all landside infrastructure (including gangway) expected by Spring 2023
  • It is envisaged that the Troon facility will be operational by end of May 2023. should all of the landside works be completed.

Next steps

  • Progress outstanding Actions from Task Force Meetings of 23 February and 28 June 2022 23 January 2023 as outlined above
  • Completion of tender stage – continue to be expedited by project partners.
  • Progress Actions from today’s Task Force Meeting – 22 March 2023
  • Mft confirmed that the next Task Force was provisionally scheduled for July. Therefore it was paramount to continue to expedite the tender stage as expected Tender issue by June 2023.


  • Timetables/vessel deployment – IOAFC/community to be involved: TS to arrange.
  • HGV Freight Meeting for Ardrossan project: TS to arrange meeting with PPG, IOAFC and NAC
  • Engagement with SPT – NAC
  • Procurement/Value Engineering robust process – PPG
  • HGV Freight at Troon – TS to progress with IOAFC, ABP and CalMac.

Any other business

  • No issues raised.

Date of next meeting

  •  Date of next meeting to be confirmed for July 2023

Published Date 5 May 2023 Type Mode of transport Topic