From being awarded the vital ferry contract to being operational, Dunaverty Ltd set sail with passengers within two days of the previous service halting early last year, availing of support from Danske Bank to restart the essential ferry service and keep the island connected to the mainland.

The company has since expanded its fleet to two vessels, including foot and vehicle passenger boats, which sail up to ten return journeys per day.

With approximately 150 people living on Rathlin Island, daily commuters from Ballycastle and up to thousands of tourists visiting per year, Dunaverty Ltd’s investment enabled Northern Ireland’s only inhabited offshore island to remain open for business for all those who visit, live and work there.

Making the service more sustainable is also a key priority for Dunaverty Ltd, which has taken part in the Climate Action Programme which Danske Bank co-developed with Business in the Community to help businesses monitor and reduce their carbon footprint and prepare their business for the future.

Charles Stewart, Director at Dunaverty Ltd said: “The ferry service to Rathlin Island is a vital link for the people of our local community and we had to act quickly to take over the service last year. Danske Bank was instrumental in helping us achieve that, and they continue to support us as we develop our business plan and as we look to improve the sustainability of our business.

“We are now focusing on futureproofing the at sea service and investing in our operations to implement further staff training, develop a tailored ticketing system and engaging with the island community through community association forums.”

Robert Lynn, Business Manager at Danske Bank said: “A service such as the Rathlin Island Ferry is simply not one that we can do without in Northern Ireland and so we were pleased to work with the Dunaverty Ltd team in keeping this vital connection between the island and the mainland. The team has been incredibly proactive and to grow their business from the ground up to where it is now in one year is impressive. We are looking forward to supporting Dunaverty Ltd as they develop the business and continuing to focus on improving the sustainability of their operations.”