A marine tourism firm in Skye will expand after securing funding for a new vessel.
SeaSkye Marine Limited will receive funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for the new vessel, which they will use to run trips to St Kilda.
HIE has awarded the company a grant of £36,910. The money will go towards the cost of upgrading the vessel used for the St Kilda trips from an 11-metre to a 13-metre vessel.
The firm was established by Kenneth and Kerry MacKinnon in 2017.
It runs trips from Waternish to St Kilda, under the Go To St Kilda brand, as well as shorter, more family orientated trips around Skye from Carbost.
The larger boat will be more robust and less susceptible to weather-related cancellations. It will allow Go To St Kilda to schedule six trips a week instead of three or four and will also improve passenger comfort.
The original vessel will then be used to expand the company’s offering by adding trips to Harris and the Shiants.
The changes are expected to boost the company’s turnover by more than £240,000, increase international sales by more than £95,000 and create four full time equivalent jobs with above average wage levels.
Kenneth MacKinnon of SeaSkye Marine added: “We’re really pleased to have secured this support from HIE, enabling us to take the next step in expanding our business.
"Demand is certainly growing from people who are keen to explore further afield while visiting Skye.
"St. Kilda has massive appeal, due to its culture history and international recognition for nature. It’s great to be able to schedule more trips to the archipelago with confidence, and to also offer the additional attraction of trips to Harris and the Shiants.”