CALEDONIAN MACBRAYNE have won a £900m contract to provide west coast ferry services for the next eight years.
Calmac, who currently operate the network of routes, were announced as preferred tenderers by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier this morning.
Publically owned CalMac and private firm Serco Caledonian Ferries Ltd were the two competing bidders after the contract was put out to tender by the Scottish Government last year.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “CalMac have a long and proud tradition of running the Clyde and Hebrides routes, and the company is woven into the fabric of the communities they serve.
“Their tender offers a good deal for those communities served by these vital transport links and ensures that we can maximise the opportunities to support and nurture our island economies.
“This new contract looks to make further improvements our ferry services, and I look forward to CalMac starting the new contract later this year.”
The bid put forward 350 commitments to improving the Clyde and Hebridean Ferry Services (CHFS) network, including investment in vessel and port improvements and smart ticketing systems on key routes.
CalMac aims to increase vehicle traffic by 10% and commercial traffic by 125 over the eight year period.
In addition, the bid committed to retaining CalMac’s pension scheme and a policy of no compulsory redundancies.