Highlands & Islands

CMAL acquires Ullapool to Stornoway's MV Loch Seaforth

MV Loch Seaforth Image copyright CMAL
Image caption Lloyds Banking Group financed the building of the ferry

Ferry and ports owner Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has purchased its largest ferry.

The company has acquired the MV Loch Seaforth, which sails between Ullapool and Stornoway, from Lloyds Banking Group for an undisclosed amount.

The bank financed the building of the ferry and leased it to CMAL, which is Scottish government-owned, for the past five years.

The government said the purchase would save public money in the long-term.

Operated by Caledonian MacBrayne, the 116m-long (380ft) Loch Seaforth can carry up to 143 cars and 700 passengers.

Built in Germany at a cost of £42m, the ferry has been in service since 2015 and is the largest and fastest in CMAL's fleet.

Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse has welcomed the acquisition of the Loch Seaforth.

He said the move would bring "considerable financial benefits" by delivering savings to taxpayers over the long-term when compared with a more expensive leasing arrangement.