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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Two new Redbay Stormforce RIBs set to boost trade, tourism & connections between NI and Scotland

Launch of Redbay two new Redbay Stormforce 1150 RIBs were launched today, bringing a boost to trade, tourism and connections between Northern Ireland and Western Scotland.

Images: Steven McAuley, McAuley Multimedia


Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly launched two new Redbay Stormforce 1150 RIBs on Thursday morning (4th April), providing a boost to trade, tourism and connections between Northern Ireland and Western Scotland.

 

The two new Stormforce 1150 Passenger Carrying RIBs have launched by Kintyre Express (Campbeltown) and Venture West (Crinan).



REDBAY BOATS


Redbay Boats Limited is a manufacturer of rigid inflatable boats (RIBS) based in Cushendall, County Antrim. A family-run business for 47 years it employs more than 30 craftspeople in a modern 20,000sq ft factory manufacturing bespoke commercial and leisure RIBS that have been sold in over 20 international markets.


The design and quality of the boats are considered best-in-class and have proven themselves to be the most capable RIB on the global market for offshore use, with boats currently in service from Svalbard in the Arctic Circle to Bermuda in the Atlantic.



Launch of Redbay two new Redbay Stormforce 1150 RIBs were launched today, bringing a boost to trade, tourism and connections between Northern Ireland and Western Scotland.

Tom McLaughlin, Managing Director, Redbay Boats Limited, said:

 

“Redbay Boats is thrilled to collaborate with Venture West and Kintyre Express to introduce the Stormforce 1150.


"This partnership underscores our commitment to promoting tourism and fostering connections between Scotland's West Coast and the North of Ireland. We believe that the Stormforce 1150 will not only enhance travel experiences but also contribute to economic growth and cultural exchange in both regions.”



KINTYRE EXPRESS


Launch of Redbay two new Redbay Stormforce 1150 RIBs were launched today, bringing a boost to trade, tourism and connections between Northern Ireland and Western Scotland.

Kintyre Express, established in 2009, stands as a pivotal player in facilitating seamless transportation between Scotland and Northern Ireland.


The company's passenger ferry service offers a vital link connecting three significant locations:


• Campbeltown in Kintyre

• Ballycastle on the Antrim Coast, and

• Port Ellen on Islay


With its commitment to efficiency, reliability, and customer satisfaction, Kintyre Express has emerged as a preferred choice for travellers seeking convenient and comfortable transportation across the Irish Sea.




 

This is the 6th boat procured from Redbay Boats by Kintyre Express in the last 13 years and represents their continued support of manufacturing in Northern Ireland.


Launch of Redbay two new Redbay Stormforce 1150 RIBs were launched today, bringing a boost to trade, tourism and connections between Northern Ireland and Western Scotland.

Colin Craig, Managing Director, Kintyre Express, commented:

 

"Receiving the new KE6 from Redbay Boats marks an exciting chapter for Kintyre Express. This investment not only enhances our service but strengthens the vital links between Scotland and Northern Ireland.


“Our goal is to offer more frequent crossings, reinforcing the economic and cultural ties that bind our communities together. Additionally, this improved service will undoubtedly boost tourism, linking the popular destinations of Ballycastle, Islay, and Kintyre, and providing both tourists and locals with easier access to the rich heritage and attractions each location has to offer, including world famous golf courses and a fantastic choice of renowned whisky distilleries.”

 

VENURE WEST

 

Launch of Redbay two new Redbay Stormforce 1150 RIBs were launched today, bringing a boost to trade, tourism and connections between Northern Ireland and Western Scotland.

Venture West is a premier boat charter company based in Scotland, offers unforgettable journeys exploring the Inner and Outer Hebrides, Orkney, Shetland and Loch Lomond.


Venture West offers unforgettable experiences on the water, allowing guests to discover the breathtaking coastlines, hidden coves, and picturesque islands of Scotland. ‘Far West’ is the 8th boat the company has acquired since 2006 from Redbay Boats.



Sandy Campbell, Managing Director, Venture West added:

 

"We have been longstanding customers of Redbay Boats for many years and we are delighted to continue working with the team. This will be our second 1150m model in operation. As a leading tourism operator specialising in adventure travel, we will leverage the Stormforce 1150 to offer unforgettable experiences along Scotland's rugged coastline”


Launch of Redbay two new Redbay Stormforce 1150 RIBs were launched today, bringing a boost to trade, tourism and connections between Northern Ireland and Western Scotland.

 

TOURISM


The council area of Argyll & Bute, which contains the Mull of Kintyre and the harbour town of Campbeltown, received more than 1.3 million day trips and more than 460 thousand overnight stays in 2022 according to the Scotland Visitor Survey 2023.


In addition, more than 55,000 visitors stay on Islay each year. Most visitors cite whiskey, golf, natural beauty and the bird and sea life available as reasons to visit.



Kintyre Express are responding to consumer demand in extending the tourist reach of visitors to Western Scotland and the Western Isles with accessible travel to the Glens of Antrim, Rathlin Island and the golfing paradise that is the Causeway Coast.


This investment will lead to securing local jobs in Ballycastle; enhancing the vitality of Ballycastle Harbour as a commercial port; promote the ecology and the sea bird sanctuary found on Rathlin Island; give greater access to the Northern Ireland golfing product; and, extend the whiskey tourist trail from Islay to Bushmills, the Glens of Antrim and the newly proposed Lir Whiskey Distillery in Cushendall.

 


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