Scottish Governments budget for Scottish ferry fleet: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Information requested

You asked for the following information in respect of the proposed new vessel for the Islay route:-

1. The Scottish Government’s predictions and budget provision for the Operating Subsidy for the Scottish ferry fleet for FY 2020/21, and separately, your predictions and Budget Provision for the Operating Subsidy in FYs 2021/22, 2022/23, 2023/24 and 2024/25.

2. The Scottish Government’s estimates and Budget Provision for the additional Operating Subsidy generated in each these Financial Years by the new ferry as above, presumed monohull.

3. The Scottish Government’s estimates and Budget Provision for the cost of procuring the above vessel.

4. The Scottish Government’s estimates and Budget Provision for the cost of enlarging or altering the terminals and shore facilities to be used by the above vessel, and where the costs will be incurred.


1. The Support for Ferry Services 2020/21 budget can be reviewed at the following link: (Page 173).

The draft budget for 2021/22 will be published in the New Year and future draft budgets will be released at the relevant point of the financial year and in line with Government guidelines.

2. No decision has yet been taken on the vessel type and specification and further public consultation is planned before the outline business case is finalised and approved. Once adecision has been made on a vessel option this will inform crewing and fuel requirements. Dependent on these, we will assess, in conjunction with the operator whether any additional subsidy is required.

3. The current estimate to procure a replacement vessel is £50 million and this is included in our budget provision. This is based on current market prices from Western European Shipyards for the proposed vessel capacity and capability.

4. We are aware that dredging may be required at Port Ellen, Port Askaig and Colonsay ports depending on the agreed specification for the vessel, this is estimated to cost around £7.6m. Work is currently under way to assess what, if any, additional infrastructure works are required at the ports which will be served by the vessel and what the associated costs will be. The costs of any harbour upgrades will be considered in a detailed analysis against the benefits they would allow in terms of improved vessel efficiency, capacity and reduced operating costs.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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