Uig Harbour, Scotland
Perfect Circle was commissioned in response to the increased demand for passenger and freight movement, along with Transport Scotland’s drive to reduce carbon emissions. The ferry service provider sought to operate larger and more sustainable vessels and the Highland Council needed to support the improved service by upgrading the harbour and ferry terminal.
Uig Harbour, situated on Skye’s north coast, is one of three ports that form the Skye Triangle, providing “lifeline ferry services” to the communities of the Western Isles, Scotland. The project to upgrade the harbour will provide a 50% increase in capacity and will be the first facility in the UK to provide for dual-fuelled ferries, powered by oil and LNG, rather than diesel.
The project brings together several stakeholders; The Highland Council (THC), Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), Calmac Ferries Ltd (CFL) and Transport Scotland (TS), along with local fisherman and the community of Uig and the Isle of Skye. Perfect Circle had an active role, from feasibility onwards, attending public consultations with the Council, engaging with stakeholders and responding with designs and adaptations.
The provision of a new vessel with increased vehicle and pedestrian capacity which will have a significant impact on the existing operability of Uig Ferry Terminal. The current Ferry Terminal was constructed in 1986 and it is recognised by THC, TS, CMAL and CFL that the facility is at its operational limit for the vessel turnaround time and the consequential vehicle throughput for the current vessel.
This project is driven by the need to improve the Highland Council’s lifeline service to the Scottish Highlands. The ferry connects Isle of Skye with Tarbert and Lochmaddy forming the “Skye Triangle”. This route is essential for getting freight on and off the island, ensuring the supply of food and other essential provisions to islanders. The ferries are also essential for the tourist industry. Perfect Circle has delivered innovative designs on time and to programme in harmonious collaboration with all stakeholders to ensure the necessary upgrade of the port and related infrastructure brings tangible value to the community it serves.
This Perfect Circle project has generated social value in a number of positive ways, both during the project and as a lasting legacy including:
- Securing supply chain opportunities with the creation of 25 local jobs during the construction period
- Providing educational infrastructure and upskilling to young people and local SMEs by experienced staff collocating on site over the two years
- The provision of safer and more comfortable amenities for ferry and harbour users with a covered walkway
- Improvements to tourism, resulting in a 50% increase in passenger capacity
- Improvements for trade with a 50% increase in freight transport
- Reduced carbon emissions and a drive for sustainable innovation with the adoption of the UK’s first dual-fuelled port, reducing diesel consumption
- Improved resilience of the ferry service improving passenger experience
- Improved accessibility
“Throughout this challenging Uig Harbour Redevelopment project, the team had to endure continual ongoing client/stakeholder scope changes and late design changes. They dealt with this very well and have been flexible and accommodating in their approach and have maintained a professional position throughout.”
Andrew Maciver, Principal Engineer | The Highland Council