BABCOCK has been awarded a four-year contract to carry out crucial maintenance of ferries in Rosyth.

The aerospace and defence firm reached an agreement with Serco to maintain and repair vessels for the Northern Isles ferry services between the Scottish mainland and the Orkney and Shetland islands.

The contract for the passenger and freight ferry will see approximately 15 statutory dockings take place at Babcock’s Rosyth facility where the vessels will undergo critical maintenance, ensuring they can continue to support lifeline services for the Northern Isles.

This builds on Babcock’s long-term relationship with NorthLink ferries which has grown over the last four years.

The contract provides benefit to both the Scottish economy and Babcock’s supply chain – with the Rosyth facility as a central location for repairing the ferries.

Over the past decade, Babcock has invested substantially in its Rosyth site, transforming the dockyard into one of the UK’s most modern maritime support facilities.

Babcock says that its base has excellent physical connections, making it an ideal place for vessels to return for dry docking and repairs.

With a bespoke team leading the work, Babcock will use its engineering, naval architecture and project management expertise to support the vessels.

A team of around 60 specialists consisting of project managers, welders, mechanical fitters, electricians and fabricators will deliver this extensive package of work.

Sean Donaldson, managing director at Babcock Rosyth, said: “Babcock is delighted to have been awarded the contract by Serco to maintain and repair vessels for the Northern Isles ferry services.

"The service is vital to so many communities and ensuring that the vessels remain fit for service is our priority.

“Over the next four years, we look forward to welcoming the vessels, where our skilled and experienced team at Rosyth will provide quality engineering support to ensure the vessels are fully-operational and back in service as planned."

The first vessel to be maintained and repaired under this contract was M V Helliar, a Ro-Ro cargo vessel which docked at Rosyth in June this year.