Ardrossan Harbour (Redevelopment)

General Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament am ar 16 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Baroness Katy Clark Baroness Katy Clark Llafur

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the redevelopment of Ardrossan harbour. (S6O-03451)

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

The essential business case and cost review work is now nearing completion and I expect to give a further update on the project before summer recess. The work has been vital in providing clarity on the scope, benefits and potential costs of the project and in updating the investment requirements from the main funding partners. A meeting of the Ardrossan harbour task force is planned for later this afternoon, and the business case review work is expected to be with ministers for consideration thereafter.

Photo of Baroness Katy Clark Baroness Katy Clark Llafur

CalMac Ferries has said that it is the failure of port owners, Peel Ports, to invest that has left the harbour in substandard condition, despite the owners receiving more than £15 million in harbour dues over the past decade. Given the long-standing issues, there have been repeated calls to bring the port into public ownership.

Does the cabinet secretary accept that the current situation is unacceptable? Will she confirm the Scottish Government’s commitment to Ardrossan and outline her strategy? Given that there has been no meeting of the task force since March 2023—I note that there is due to be one later today—will she come back to the chamber with a statement to outline the Government’s approach?

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

I have already said that I will provide an update before summer recess. That is the plan.

Our focus is on ensuring that a robust business case is developed; the case for Ardrossan is properly considered; and the cost and scope is well understood, so that investment decisions can be made. Regardless of ownership, it is important that both parties—CalMac and Peel Ports Group—address these operational issues so that they can resolve them quickly and ensure minimal impact and disruption to the services to island communities. Of course, any purchase will depend on an owner willing to sell.