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Monthly News Bulletin

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Stena Switch to Cairnryan Approved

STENA Line's £40 million switch to Cairnryan has been approved by the Scottish Executive.

An official announcement has yet to be made but the Free Press can confirm the development has the green light.

The elections next month are expected to delay confirmation from Transport Minister Tavish Scott. But enquiries this week by Stranraer East Councillor Robert Higgins brought the good news the ferry company has been seeking.

Final approval is subject to a number of conditions but these are not expected to be a difficult hurdle to cross.

Stena's move from Stranraer to Cairnryan will allow the Belfast sailings to switch there from late next year.

The approval follows a public inquiry that raised residents' concerns about noise.

The result came as good news to Councillor Higgins who feared the decision may have been held back beyond the elections. This was echoed at a meeting of the North Channel Partnership where  Mr Higgins decided to write to Mr Scott.

Work is continuing behind the scenes to speed up the move and the conditions should be ironed out before the official announcement comes from the Executive.

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