George Leslie has won a £15.3m contract to carry out upgrade works at Lochmaddy Pier in North Uist.

Lochmaddy Pier is owned by the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar – the council for the Western Isles. It is working with Transport Scotland, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), CalMac Ferries and The Highland Council on the project to upgrade the pier and associated infrastructure in order to improve the ferry service.

George Leslie will be responsible for completing all civil engineering works for the harbour upgrade project, including the extension and strengthening of the pier, upgraded fendering, seabed dredging land reclamation and extended marshalling and parking areas.

The project forms a key part of a programme of infrastructure improvements on the ‘Skye Triangle’ ferry routes with improvement works recently completed at Tarbert, Isle of Harris, and ongoing at Uig, Isle of Skye.

Minister for transport Jenny Gilruth said: “I am very pleased to see the planned upgrade of Lochmaddy Pier moving forward with the award of this contract. It maintains the momentum following the recent completion of the improvement works at Tarbert and the recent award of the contract for improvement works at Uig.

“Work can now begin again on the construction phase of the project, which will deliver an improved experience for the passengers who use these important services.”

“The Scottish government is providing investment of £580m in ports and vessels to support and improve Scotland’s ferry services over the next five years, as part of a wider infrastructure investment plan.”

Councillor Uisdean Robertson, Chairman of the Comhairle’s transportation and infrastructure committee, said: “We are very pleased to have reached this very important milestone in the delivery of infrastructure improvements for the wider Skye Triangle route.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Transport Scotland, with CMAL and now with George Leslie Ltd in making significant improvements to the pier and marshalling areas at Lochmaddy.

“We are confident that the investment in port infrastructure across the Skye Triangle routes will make a significant contribution to growing and sustaining efficient and effective transport links for the islands.”