FAMILY-OWNED ferry company, Pentland Ferries, has announced plans to buy a larger vessel to serve the demand on the Pentland firth, after securing a £12 million from the Bank of Scotland to buy a new ship.

The family-owned business, established in 1997, constructed ferry terminals in Caithness and Orkney to run an unsubsidised crossing service. The business has grown by 10 per cent year-on-year and has now outgrown its current vessel, The Pentalina.

Now an asset finance facility from the bank will fund a new vessel, which will be the largest mid-speed catamaran in Europe. It is expected to arrive in Scotland in 2018 and will see capacity for passengers increase by 50 per cent to 436 people, as well as 54 cars and 12 lorries.

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