A project to provide a new vessel for the Ballycastle to Rathlin Island ferry service has been given the go ahead.
In a statement to the Times, Mr Robin Swann, the UUP MLA for North Antrim, welcomed confirmation from his Party colleague Danny Kennedy MLA, the Minister for Regional Development, that his Department has commenced the project.
He also revealed that the Department is now working with marine consultants who will assist with the design, procurement and construction of the new vessel.
Assemblyman Swann, who is also UUP Chief Whip, said: “I welcome the news that the Minister has committed to share the high level designs of the new vessel at forthcoming public stakeholder events, which are due to take place on Rathlin on 17th June from 11am to 5pm and in Ballycastle on the 18th of June from 2pm -7pm.”
Meanwhile, Cllr Joan Baird, Ulster Unionist Party Councillor for Moyle DC and elected for The Glens in the new super Council added: “I am absolutely delighted that our Minister, Danny Kennedy, has managed to secure funding for a modern new ferry for the Ballycastle to Rathlin route. This will greatly enhance connections between Rathlin Island and the whole Ballycastle area.
“A brand new modern ferry will create numerous new opportunities for tourism and therefore boost our local economy, creating jobs and better services for the whole District. It will be absolutely essential that other agencies such as the National Trust, RSPB, NIEA and the NI Tourist Board fully engage with us and follow our leadership to gain the maximum benefit for all of our community.
“A new ferry is very positive news for The Glens area.”