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Isles of Scilly Ferry Link: Harbour Plans are Approved
5:46pm 3rd September 2013
(Updated 5:46pm 3rd September 2013)
Plans that should safeguard Cornwall's ferry link to the Isles of Scilly have been given the go ahead by the government.
£8 million will be pumped into improvements at Penzance and on St Mary's.
The Department for Transport has released this statement:
Plans to improve the harbours that connect Cornwall with the Isles of Scilly have received support from Local Transport Minister Norman Baker today (3 September 2013).
The minister announced work at St Mary's and Penzance harbours can go ahead, subject to final clearances and securing European funding.
Norman Baker said: "We are putting at least £8 million into this scheme which shows that the coalition government is serious about protecting the livelihood of the Isles of Scilly.
"Improved terminal buildings will provide better conditions for passengers. Changes to the harbours themselves will ensure new vessels can still access the port protecting this route for use by residents, freight and holiday makers.
"The work involves dredging at Penzance and pier widening and improved freight handling facilities at St Mary's."
Councillors from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have welcomed today's announcement.
It follows a meeting between West Cornwall MP Andrew George, Councillor Bert Biscoe, Cornwall Council's Cabinet Member for Transport and Waste; Councillor Chris Thomas, Chair of the Council of the Isles of Scilly Transport Committee, and Councillor Phil Rendle, the Mayor of Penzance, and Mr Baker in July during which the group stressed the critical importance of the scheme to the Scillies and Penzance.
Councillor Bert Biscoe, Cornwall Council's Cabinet Member for Transport and Waste, said: "This is a crucial step along the way as it will help to unlock the complete finance package. Mr Baker's long journey with us will now begin to show positive results and lay the foundations for the future evolution of Penzance."
Councillor Amanda Martin, Chair of The Council of the Isles of Scilly, said: "The Council of the Isles of Scilly is delighted that the project to develop the Quays at St Mary's and Penzance has moved another step forward to approval, we would like to thank the DFT and Cornwall Council for all their hard work."
Councillor Phil Rendle, Penzance Town Mayor, said: "I am very pleased at the Minister's announcement that work at St Mary's and Penzance harbours can now go ahead. I believe our ability to demonstrate to the Minister in person the consensus that has developed between the three Councils (Cornwall, Penzance and the Isles of Scilly) as well as on Penzance Town Council and within the town was a key to the Minister's decision.
"I look forward to Penzance Council working with Cornwall Council and the Department for Transport to realise the further phases for the development of the harbour as outlined by the important work already done by Penzance councillors."
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