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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 November, 2004, 07:10 GMT
Villagers hold ferry buyout talks
Glenelg ferry
Local people want to take over the ferry service
A community group planning to buy their local ferry service is set to hold talks with Highland Council to secure backing for the venture.

Residents of Glenelg would be the first Scottish community to buy their own ferry service if their plan gets the green light.

The ferry operates between the mainland and Skye, which has been used as a ferry crossing since Viking times.

But the group's hopes of securing Land Fund backing have already been dashed.

Skipper Roddy Macleod has offered the community first refusal on the six-car ferry.

But with a number of serious approaches from the private sector, he has set a deadline for the end of the month.

Vital business

Community representatives will meet Highland Council's chief executive on the issue in a bid to secure local authority backing.

Their efforts to buy the boat have been hampered by unofficial confirmation that the purchase would not be eligible for cash help from the Land Fund.

Those behind the venture argue that the fund, set up to back land buy-outs, should also support vital businesses which underpin fragile economies.

The privately-operated ferry, which makes the five-minute crossing to Kylerhea on Skye, has served people for the past 14 years.

The ferry runs as often as it is required between March and October.

Earlier this year Highland councillor Charlie King warned that the service, and the route between Mallaig and Armadale, could be threatened by plans to remove tolls from the Skye Bridge.

It is estimated that the two services bring in 5m to the local economy.

Villagers in ferry buyout attempt
05 Apr 04  |  Scotland
Toll removal 'threatens ferries'
12 Jan 04  |  Scotland
Skye tolls set to be scrapped
30 Oct 03  |  Scotland
Skye toll complaint goes to fiscal
31 Jul 03  |  Scotland
MPs reject Skye toll claims
05 Dec 01  |  Scotland

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