The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company has taken over the lease to operate and manage Penzance Dry Dock, it has been announced.
Penzance Dry Dock, which is one of the UK’s longest established Dry Docks, having been established in1834, provides facilities for vessels requiring repair and conversion.
The Dry Dock offers a 365 day a year service with a dedicated docking berth for vessels, a drying-out berth and a range of workshops, including areas for fabrication, fitting, electrical work and carpentry.
The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, which took on the lease on 1 September 2009, has a strong commitment to the town and has been based in Penzance for more than 90 years.
With experience in shipping and the marine industry through the company’s owned and operated ships, Scillonian III and the freight ship the Gry Maritha, the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company is well placed to maintain the high levels of service delivered as well as providing opportunities for future growth and expansion.
Andrew May, Chairman of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company said: “The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company has been based in Penzance for almost 100 years and provides jobs and lifeline services to the people of Penzance and the islands. By taking on the lease to the Dry Dock we are able to ensure the future of the operation within the town.
“After going into administration a few months ago, the Dry Dock was at risk of being lost for good. I am pleased that we are in a position to reemploy former employees and look at making the Dry Dock a very successful business once again.”
Jeff Marston, Chief Executive of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company added: “The Dry Dock has provided services to ships for many years and has a great reputation for efficiency, quality and competency, we hope to build on this and maximise our opportunities for servicing existing clients as well as attracting new business.
“As a company, we are very please to be able to take on the lease, expand our portfolio of businesses and secure the future of what is a vitally important business in the town and wider region.”
The first vessel entered the Dry Dock on Monday 14 September. The 27m long Dumb Barge, the Bay Oasis, entered the Dry Dock on Monday morning for a refit and five year class renewal, the vessel will be berthed there for seven to ten days. Following the completion of work on the Bay Oasis the Isle of Scilly Steamship Company’s freight ship, the Gry Maritha will be entering the Dry Dock.
The Dry Dock boasts a dedicated, skilled and experienced workforce and currently takes in 15 to 20 ships a year.