Transport Minister Danny Kennedy has announced that the £2.8million contract to build a replacement car ferry for service between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island has been won by Irish based Arklow Marine Services.
The new vessel, to replace the existing MV Canna, is expected to be in service from the end of the summer next year.
Mr Kennedy said: “Today we see a very significant step forward in delivering a much needed new car ferry for the people of Rathlin Island and indeed for visitors to this unique part of Northern Ireland.
“The new ferry which has been specifically designed to operate on the waters between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island will replace the now 40 year old MV Canna.
“I congratulate Arklow Marine Services on their successful bid in the open competition which attracted interest from shipyards across Europe. I look forward to following the progress of the build.”
The new ferry will have capacity for five cars and up to 140 passengers, improving on the existing service.