As part of Lloyds Banking Group, Lloyds Bank’s Asset Finance Team in conjunction with the Bank of Scotland Relationship Team, stepped in and successfully bid to provide the £45m operating lease needed to build the new vessel.
To ensure the uninterrupted provision of this vital lifeline service for the local community, the new vessel was introduced onto the route in February 2015 a short period after it’s completion in November 2014. It has been designed to cater for projected market demand, including the significant increase in passenger numbers on the route in the summer months.
The ferry holds a key place in the heart of the local community. Following a competition to vote for their favourite name from four options, local school boy David Davidson selected the name ‘MV Loch Seaforth’, in memory of a local mail boat with the same name which operated in the region in the early 1970’s. David, along with family members of the mail boat’s captain, was invited to attend the launch of the new vessel in Germany; one of the few times they had been away from the island. The eldest daughter of the captain of the previous vessel was named as “God Mother” of the new vessel and had the privilege of undertaking the launch.