It would appear that CalMac only has one challenger for the next £1 billion Western Isles ferry contract. Serco, which has already won the NorthLink (Northern Isles) ferry contract from CalMac’s parent company Caledonian Macbrayne Assets Ltd., is the other bidder.

The next contract is for 8 years but that has failed to generate any extra interest to that of the 2007 franchise that CalMac won as the other contender pulled out. The official tender process will commence in June with the result announced in May 2016.

Up to £1 billion of Scottish Government funding will be available to support the 26 largely loss-making services, the equivalent of £125 million a year. The new tender commences in October 2016.

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