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Cornwall Council contributes a further £5 million to Ferry

posted Mar 15, 2011, 9:52 AM by Richard Cliffe   [ updated Mar 15, 2011, 10:34 AM ]

Extra £5 million.

The Cornwall Council Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 16 March 2011 is expected to vote through an extra £5 million in prudential borrowing (from £10 to £15 million) to help pursuade the Goverment to fund the project.  The IOS have given up ERDF funding on their projects to increase the ERDF grant from £11 to £11.75.  The combined effect is to reduce the Government grant from £41 million to £35.3 million (a 14% reduction) or 57% of the £62.05 million total project cost.

The extra £5 million will be repaid out of the charter fee paid by the operator.  This fee has already been agreed with the IOSSC.  The impact of the extra £5 million is to reduce the Vessel Replacement Fund which the Route Partnership wanted to create to avoid future calls on the Central Government purse.

See attached Cornwall Council Cabinet documents (Public Documentation Pack) which gives the current status of the IOS ferry Link project.

IOSSC Proposals

The document pack includes some details of the IOSSC proposals made on 1 March 2011 to DofT.  This proposal is treated as the fallback position for Cornwall Council if the new vessel is not funded.  The IOSSC scheme still requires the harbour works (Option A).

The IOSCC proposal involves buying two second hand vessels.  Key point about the ferry are:

·         It is significantly smaller (~320 pax).  Likely to have a worse ride

·         Slower with max speed 14 knots and service speed ~12.5 knots (3 hour + crossing).

·         Requires major works to be able to rest on the sea bed in shallow harbours and to carry expected luggage .

·         Was designed for short 20 minute crossings between Demark & Sweden over relatively sheltered waters.

·         It is a design based upon a super yacht (looks impressive).

·         Maritime & Coastguard Agency may have issues about licencing it for IOS route.  May impose significant operating restrictions (summer, good weather?).

·         No prospect of a winter ferry service (due to cost and unsuitability of vessel for heavier seas)

The name of the vessel is not mentioned by Cornwall Council but it is likely to be the Siluna Ace or her sister ship.  See here http://www.remontowa.pl/index.php?n=441 for vessel.  The previous operator went bankrupt and the vessel is now owned by a bank. 

The IOSSC proposed second hand vessels and modifications are judged to cost over £10 million which is a very large investment for the IOSSC given its size.  There have to be questions as to  whether the shareholders can justify the risk given the likely lower revenues with a smaller vessel and the fact the vessel will not meet Islander’s needs (many shareholders live on the Islands).  Would the IOSSC need a Government subsidy at some point?  The IOSSC proposal shows just how limited and risky a private sector solution.

If you want to join the 4000+ supporters of the IOS Ferry Link project then please support (like) our Facebook campaign at ….  www.facebook.com/afutureforpenzance .... and recommend the campaign to like-minded friends.

Are you a supporting business?  Are you listed on the 'info' page with our 100+ supporting local businesses?  Contact support@truefriend.org.uk to be added..


Richard Cliffe,
Mar 15, 2011, 10:23 AM