Orkney is to trial two electric ferries after being awarded more than £15m of funding.

The hydrofoil vessels – which have the hull above the water – are being supplied by Belfast-based Artemis Technologies for the three-year trial.

The £15.5m funding comes from the UK government’s Zero Emission Vessels and Infrastructure Fund, which is aimed at decarbonising the maritime sector.

Orkney Islands Council hailed it as “tremendous” news for the community.

One will be capable of carrying 12 passengers, and will travel between Kirkwall, Shapinsay, Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre.

A larger vessel, capable of carrying 50 people and some light cargo, will be on a route between Kirkwall, Westray, Eday, Sanday and Stronsay.

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