District News, December 17 2021

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ISLANDS:

Community climate action plan to be produced for islands

Islay, Jura and Colonsay are one group of seven Scottish communities that will be supported to produce a tailored community climate action plan.

Through its Community Climate Action Plans programme, environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful will support Islay Energy Trust Ltd, South Islay Development, Jura Development Trust, and Islay Development Initiative to begin their actions.

The trusts will be signposted to sources of further advice and funding relevant to their plan and helped to establish how they will evaluate impact.

A spokesperson for the trusts said: ‘We’re so excited about being selected to work with Keep Scotland Beautiful over the coming months to develop our own bespoke plan to help tackle climate change in our communities.

‘We’re looking forward to our first engagement workshop and will be reaching out to encourage everyone to get involved.’

The Community Climate Action Plans programme is supported by the Scottish Government as part of Scotland’s COP26 community engagement programme.

For more information, visit https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/climate-change/climate-change/community-climate-action-plans/

ISLAY:

Port Ellen Ferry Terminal upgrade plans given green light

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) is progressing detailed plans for significant investment and upgrade at Islay’s Port Ellen Ferry Terminal.

Transport Scotland recently approved the findings of a strategic planning study which identified space constraints at the terminal, including the vehicle marshalling area and terminal building, as well as opportunities to improve port operations and passenger access to and from vessels.

CMAL developed a range of high-level options to address the issues.

The Port Ellen Terminal Development project has now been established to progress plans to increase the vehicle marshalling area, increase staff and visitor parking, improve port operations for commercial use, improve passenger access to vessels, and explore the location and size of an area for a proposed new terminal building.

CMAL has appointed engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald to work alongside its in-house civil engineers to develop costs, assess a range of solutions, and recommend a preferred option.

Engineers will conduct topographical, bathymetric, geophysical and wave monitoring surveys to inform the next-level business case.

A project reference group has been appointed to represent the views of the community, including ferry users, marina users, the fishing community and commercial users.

The first reference group meeting was held on Wednesday December 1.

Engagement with the wider community, through virtual or in-person events and meetings, depending on Covid-19 guidance, is scheduled for spring 2022.

‘We are still in the early, but critical, planning stages of this project,’ said Paul Colenso, senior civil engineer at CMAL.

‘We have identified the need for investment in the infrastructure at Port Ellen to strengthen the resilience of the harbour to support ferry services and other port activities.

‘Our proposals will also enhance the ferry passenger and harbour user experience with improved facilities and access.

‘Survey work will begin within the next couple of months. This won’t impact ferry services, but harbour-users may see engineers in high vis on site for a number of weeks.

‘We’re planning to undertake comprehensive consultation so all interested parties can engage with the project, and we will be able to share more details on this early next year.’

The Port Ellen Terminal Development project is one of three CMAL projects planned for Port Ellen.

The other two projects will deliver improvements to traffic management arrangements, scheduled to get underway in 2022, and upgrade the pier infrastructure in preparation for the arrival of two new vessels.

A tender process to appoint a shipyard to build the vessels is ongoing.