A new ferry port is to be built at Loch Ryan in Scotland following a £200 million investment by Stena Line.

A 28-acre site two miles north of Cairnryan has been chosen for the port and construction is expected to be completed in autumn 2011.

The new port, which will replace the existing Stranraer terminal, is expected to cut the journey time between Scotland and Northern Ireland by 25 minutes.

The investment also includes the addition of two large ferries to service Stena Line’s Irish Sea service to Belfast Port.

Scottish first minister Alex Salmond said: “The investment we have announced will provide Scotland with a first-class port facility which underlines and enhances the port’s prominence as the third-largest gateway in the UK.

“The relocation to the new Loch Ryan Port will also aid tourism with faster crossings between Scotland and Northern Ireland and help the regeneration of Stranraer as a major marine leisure area.”