ISLAND businesses face the loss of hundreds of thousands of pounds over the coming days and weeks as ferry disruption dampens hopes of an early bounce-back with the rest of country edging out of lockdown.

The nationally-owned CalMac’s largest ferry the MV Loch Seaforth is the subject of frantic repair by specialists.

Tourism businesses and hauliers are among the hardest hit and hospitality across Arran was reported in one survey to have had another soul-destroying string of callers cancelling bookings.

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One hotelier counted up £30,000 in call-offs and this comes at a time when the building blocks of recovery should be in place to allow businesses back to life. Instead there is greater uncertainty.

Again, there was disruption on 12 of CalMac’s 30 services on Friday, ranging from amended timetables to cancellation.

Two new ferries that it is expected will bring some kind of cure to the ills of the ferry service were due to be launched in 2018, with the first now due in 2022. There’s more to say on that.

HeraldScotland: One of the ferries out of action earlier.One of the ferries out of action earlier.

Just now, the concern is the impact on the islands’ recovery. CalMac’s May 17 “at the earliest” date is subject to change, or cancellation, as the islanders know only too well.

Perhaps a new Scottish Government will make a difference.

READ MORE: Scott Wright: Are we ready to face another independence debate?

It’s a boom coming out of the pandemic, with pent-up demand turbo-charged by stamp duty breaks in England, now extended, and the Scottish equivalent, which has already ceased, helping people get a foot onto the housing ladder, up to a point.

HeraldScotland: A property industry boom has led to a rise in forward sales. Picture: Getty Images.A property industry boom has led to a rise in forward sales. Picture: Getty Images.

The Scottish Government’s First Home Fund that helped first-time buyers with their deposit, was not surprisingly heavily oversubscribed and closed in under a week, so while the boost is welcome for those first in, many others still have no immediate solution.

One analyst warns “it’s easy to see how demand could peter out as the stamp duty holiday comes to an end and further restrictions are placed on the help to buy scheme”, and, the boom could well slow.

“Crucially, the housing market’s fortunes will also depend in large measure on what unfolds on the unemployment front,” Business Editor Ian McConnell writes in his Called to Account column this week. “This remains the big unknown.”

Nucleus Financial, the Edinburgh fintech, has been the target of a takeover by Salisbury-based retirement planning firm James Hay and the £145 million offer has now been overwhelmingly approved by the Scottish company’s shareholders, with investors holding 91.73 per cent of the shares accepting the deal.

There was concern among the 392 Edinburgh workers.

A spokesperson for James Hay said it expects a “moderate reduction in headcount where there is duplication or where operational efficiencies might be achieved” after an integration process of up to 12 months.

It was a momentous occasion on the Clyde waterfront as the two blocks of HMS Glasgow were brought together for the first time, marking a hugely tangible milestone in the project and a tribute to the effort of the Glasgow BAE Systems workers and their suppliers.

All eight of the Royal Navy’s City Class Type 26 frigates will be built here, and, along with international programmes including with Canada and Australia, this is 30 years of work for 4,000 people, the majority of whom are at the docks in Govan and Scotstoun.