Ferry contract notice published to begin procurement
The procurement of the next contract to operate the Northern Isles Ferry Services is underway, with the publication of the contract notice.
The contract, worth an estimated £370m, will run for eight years and all routes will be tendered as a single bundle.
The Invitation To Tender documents will issue early in the new year, with a view to awarding the contract in Summer 2019.
Minister for energy, connectivity and the islands Paul Wheelhouse said: “The Northern Isles Ferry Services play a vital role for the communities of Shetland and Orkney and I want to make sure that we provide the best possible transport links for the communities that depend on them.
“The publication of the contract notice starts the procurement of the next Northern Isles Ferry Services contract in earnest, inviting interest from potential operators.
“We have always said we would take the views of the local community into account and, through the consultation process, it was clear that their preference is for this contract to be put out to tender.
“Scottish Ministers will retain control of all important issues, like routes, timetables and fares, under the terms of the public service contract. All the routes will be tendered as a single bundle and all existing vessels will be made available to the successful bidder.”