Shetland Ferry Replacement - Task Force Meeting - 25th April 2024


  • Jim Fairlie MSP – Minister for Agriculture and Connectivity (MfAC)
  • Cllr Emma Macdonald – Leader of SIC
  • Maggie Sandison - Chief Executive of SIC

Key Points

  1. Introductions were made. Apologies were given for the short notice absence of DFM and several officials.
  2. Action picked up from previous meeting minutes: SIC is liaising with CMAL to review the fleet and port infrastructure. There may be options to consider standardised vessels for the Scottish fleet.
  3. Maggie Sandison explained the history of SIC’s ferry services. 
  4. Cllr Macdonald thanked the Scottish Government for the revenue funding provided over recent years to SIC, noting this has been a ‘game changer’ for the operation of its services.
  5. Maggie Sandison delivered the presentation about the work underway in the Short Crossings Project and the potential for up to four possible sub-sea tunnels. However, it was also important to consider new ferries for the other routes and even on an interim basis for some routes given the potential lead time for tunnels.
  6. SIC is working on a funding model and has had some support from the UK Investment Bank.
  7. SIC requested continuation of Scottish Government advisory support for the preparation of their business case and longer-term certainty of funding.
  8. Fair Isle update: SIC was successful in a Levelling Up bid award from UK Government. However, costs have increased significantly mainly due to port infrastructure that needs upgraded to accommodate the new ferry.


  1. SIC to provide more information on how the existing fleet and ports were funded.
  2. SIC and TS/SG officials to discuss approach for ongoing advisory support.
  3. SIC and TS/SG officials to liaise over future funding models on future connectivity plans.
  4. Next Task Force mtg – after summer recess – date to be confirmed.

Published Date 17 Jun 2024 Type Mode of transport