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Work begins on multi-million pound ferries contract at Cammell Laird
Western Ferries chairman Alistair Ross and Cammell Laird managing director Linton Roberts at this morning's ceremony
WORK has started on construction of two passenger ferries at Cammell Laird's shipyard in Birkenhead.
The firm was appointed by Western Ferries as preferred bidder for the project to build the vessels.
The contract was formally signed by Western Ferries managing director Gordon Ross and Cammell Laird chief executive John Syvret in June.
In a ceremony at the shipyard this morning, a party from Western Ferries led by chairman Alistair Ross formally laid the Cammell Laird keel number 1387.
Both vessels are due to be delivered to the Firth of Clyde in August next year in time for the Cowal Games Weekend in Dunoon.
Western Ferries announced at the ceremony that the completed vessel will be named Sound of Seil continuing its tradition of naming ferries after Scottish Sounds. Work on its sister vessel, Sound of Soay, is due to start next month.
Mr Ross said: "It is fantastic to be here at Cammell Laird and see work begin on the first ferry.
"This is a historic day for us and the beginning of a journey which we believe will make a massive difference to our company and the local community for many years to come."
Cammell Laird’s managing director Linton Roberts said the company could not wait to get cracking on the building work.
He said: "Cammell Laird is exceptionally pleased and proud to welcome the team from Western Ferries for this historic keel laying ceremony.
"We fully appreciate the importance of this investment in state of the art vessels for the company and their ambitions."
The firm's chief executive, John Syvret said: "The contract again reinforces Cammell Laird’s status as one of the most competitive shipyards in Europe for ship repair, conversion, refit and building.”