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UK Government Announces Support for GB-NI Freight Ferry Routes

The UK Government will be providing financial support to Great Britain - Northern Ireland ferry services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Up to £17 million will be available for freight ferry routes operating from Warrenpoint, Heysham, Belfast, Liverpool, Cairnryan and Larne. The support period is for two months.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

"Essential supplies are continuing to flow well, but operators are facing challenges as fewer people travelling means less capacity to move goods.

Today’s action will help ensure we have the freight capacity we need across the UK. This funding will help ferry operators protect our supply chain and maintain the flow of critical goods across the Irish Sea and throughout the Union."

Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack, said:

"We have been clear that the UK Government will do what is necessary to protect our economy during the current Coronavirus pandemic. That includes safeguarding the essential ferry routes between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

I know just how vital the busy services in and out of Cairnryan are. It is essential we keep them going for the economies of both Northern Ireland and the South West of Scotland."

The NI Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon, said

"Keeping our critical routes open across these islands for the supply of foods, goods and medicines is absolutely critical in our fight against COVID-19. This support package will protect our ferry operators and ensure that vital supply chains are maintained."

29 April 2020

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