Ferry firm on crest of the wave

FERRY entrepreneur Andrew Banks and his family have celebrated a decade anniversary in the business.
The family-run firm marked the occasion with a low-key celebration on the bridge of the Pentalina, recently.
It was something of a double celebration, as Andrew and his wife Susan also toasted their silver wedding anniversary. A small gathering of local businessmen, elected representatives and friends and family boarded for the vessel’s first trip of the day, across the Pentland Firth to St Margaret’s Hope.
East Mainland, South Ronaldsay and Burray councillor Russ Madge was one of three islands councillors who attended Pentland Ferries’ celebrations.
He said it was “a tremendous achievement” for Mr Banks and the people of Orkney. He added: “It’s brilliant that a service like this can exist in the economic climate, an amazing achievement, so well done to them all." Councillor Madge also supported Mr Banks’ call for financial support from the Scottish Government.
He said it was “absolutely essential” that Pentland Ferries, which has seen trade grow by about 60 per cent, over the past two years, was assisted in order to continue to thrive.
Plans are in the pipeline for a new waiting room, shop, cafe, toilets and car parking area, at Gills Bay and a new dry dock there is envisaged.