Task Force on LA Ferry Fleet Replacement - meeting with Orkney Islands Council (OIC) - minutes - 9 November 2023


  • Shona Robison, Deputy First Minister and Minister for Finance
  • Fiona Hyslop MSP, Minister for Transport
  • Cllr James Stockan, Leader of OIC
  • Cllr Heather Woodbridge, Depute Leader of OIC
  • Oliver Reid, Chief Executive of OIC
  • Gareth Waterson, Director of Enterprise & Sustainable Regeneration, OIC
  • Roddy Macdonald, TS Director of Ferries
  • Derek Glover, SG Finance
  • Kerry Twyman, TS Director of Finance
  • Official, TS Head of Ferries Policy
  • Official, TS Finance
  • Official, TS Ferries Policy

Key Points

  1. Agreement in principle to funding towards development of business case. OIC to explore procurement options and revise cost estimates.
  2. ZEVI experimental ferry project was discussed. Not a priority for Orkney Islands Council but could provide additional capacity and inform future fleet replacement options.
  3. Request for operating costs funding to be considered through budget processes.
  4. Discussion of role for UK Government. It was agreed that OIC and Scottish Government should jointly approach UK Government and TS/SG officials would agree a coordinated approach in proposing a tripartite meeting with UKG (SG/OIC/UKG).
  5. Discussion on MV Nordic Sea not being as suitable as initially envisaged as a replacement for the MV Golden Mariana fully. However the vessel is being utilised for specific routes, primarily as a relief vessel . Orkney exploring the purchase of replacement vessel.
  6. Discussion of the group’s Remit. Officials to revise to reflect longer term commitment to the group.


  1. Joint news release to be issued. SG/OIC - Complete
  2. OIC to revise business case funding request for 2024-25 and profile over subsequent years to allow SG consideration as part of the budgetary process.
  3. All members to coordinate engagement with the UK Government.

Published Date 12 Feb 2024 Type Mode of transport Topic