Task Force on LA Ferry Fleet Replacement - meeting with Shetland Islands Council (SIC) - minutes - 23 November 2023


  • Shona Robison MSP – Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance
  • Fiona Hyslop MSP - Minister for Transport
  • Cllr Emma Macdonald – Leader of SIC
  • Maggie Sandison - Chief Executive of SIC
  • Roddy Macdonald - TS Director of Ferries
  • Derek Glover - SG Finance
  • Official, Ferries Policy Manager
  • Official, TS Finance
  • Official, TS Ferries Policy

Key Points:

  1. Introductions were made.
  2. Action picked up from previous meeting minutes: SIC is liaising with CMAL to organise a visit to Shetland in 2024 to review the fleet and port infrastructure.
  3. SIC has set aside funding for its Business Case for replacement ferries with the aim of confirming tender award by end of January 2024. Consultant should be in place by Feb/Mar 2024. Whalsay requires increased vehicle capacity on the vessel, SIC is looking for either 3 small vessels or 2 larger vessels to add resilience to services in the event of breakdown.
  4. Reference was made to the Shetland's Inter-Island Transport Connectivity Plan and its remit, which extends beyond ferries to consider fixed links.
  5. Fair Isle update: SIC is looking to align resources with UKG/SG with a vision to discuss new funding models and UKG’s role for EU funding replacement.
  6. The need to work towards tripartite SIC/UKG/SG funding model was discussed.


  1. Joint news release to be issued. SG/SIC. Post mtg note – issued.
  2. All members to coordinate engagement with the UK Government.
  3. SIC and SG officials to liaise over future funding models on future Connectivity plans as emerge from the SIC consultation whether for replacement vessels and/or fixed links.
  4. Next Task Force mtg – early in 2024, diaries permitting - tba.

Published Date 12 Feb 2024 Type Mode of transport Topic