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£17m support for ferries to keep supply chains open welcomed

The support is aimed at assisting ferry operators who provide critical supply routes for food, medicine and other essential supplies.

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Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon has announced financial package for ferries to keep supply chains open (Liam McBurney/PA)

Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon has announced financial package for ferries to keep supply chains open (Liam McBurney/PA)

Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon has announced financial package for ferries to keep supply chains open (Liam McBurney/PA)

A £17 million support package for ferries to keep supply chains open has been welcomed.

Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon announced the financial support to assist ferry operators which provide critical supply routes for food, medicine and other essential supplies for a two-month period.

CBI Northern Ireland director Angela McGowan welcomed the announcement, saying it will mean businesses can “breathe a sigh of relief”.

Ms Mallon said the funding will ensure supply routes into Northern Ireland will continue without interruption during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Throughout this crisis I have been working closely with ferry operators to keep our necessary goods flowing and I wish to extend my personal thanks to these companies for their determination to maintain our critical routes during this difficult period,” she said.

“Today we have been able to secure supplies to this part of our island, the impact of which cannot be underestimated and I am pleased to play my part.

“There’s more work to do – and I remain committed and focused to doing all I can to secure safeguards and support for people across Northern Ireland in the days ahead.”

Ms McGowan added: “These routes are critically important at this time for the movement of goods, including food and medical supplies.

“Businesses and the communities they serve across Northern Ireland will breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that these crucial parts of the supply chain will remain in operation.”

PA