The Arran ferry will operate from Troon Harbour for up to 21 months while construction work is carried out at Ardrossan.

The recommendation, which will see services resume from Ardrossan once works are completed, was confirmed at a meeting of the project’s Ministerial Taskforce. 

The Taskforce’s decision, which followed a review of all potential options, was guided by the community requests to maximise the reliability of the alternative service for ferry users.

The switch will not take place until construction work begins with an official date yet to be confirmed.

Further work will also be undertaken to look at potential measures to support the community in Ardrossan during the construction works.

The use of Troon Harbour for the duration of the works was backed by 79 per cent of respondents to a survey carried out earlier this month.

Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands Paul Wheelhouse said: “We had to take particular account of the potential for significant disruption had services switched to the Irish Berth, given this would be more difficult to access in rough conditions than the Arran Berth.

“We know this ferry link is a vital lifeline for the Arran community and critical to the tourism sector on the island, so using Troon Harbour on a temporary basis will offer the most resilient option possible during the works."

Chair of Arran Ferry Committee Iain Thomson added: “Arran Ferry Committee welcomes the decision which will allow this important project to move forward with clarity.

"We welcome the investment and will continue to work with other partners to support delivery of theses long awaited upgrades to our lifeline services which will improve the island’s economy and quality of life for the residents.”