Council statement in response to government letters about Levelling Up Funding for sea links

The Council has now received confirmation from Government that it will no longer make Levelling Up Funding available to deliver the new vessels required to provide the sea link services.  

In a letter to the Council, the Minister for Maritime, International and Security, Lord Davies of Gower, said that ‘An enduring lifeline sea link service for the islands has always been the main objective of the LUF project which the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group now declare they will provide.’ 

The Minister for Levelling Up, Jacob Young MP, has also written to confirm that whilst the Levelling Up Funding has been withdrawn, his department remains committed to supporting the Isles of Scilly and tackling the challenges facing the island community.

The Council has accepted the Government position regarding the use of Levelling Up Funding in competition with the private sector but has constantly made the case to the Government that there is a significant period of time and activity required between signing contracts and actually having new vessels imminently due in service. Therefore the Levelling Up Funding allocation should be retained until such time when there is greater certainty that the new vessels are a reality.  

The Council will now be taking Lord Davies up on his offer of further discussions to consider the transport challenges still faced by the Islands. It will also be meeting with officials from the Department for Levelling Up in the coming weeks and will be discussing the ongoing need for Government support with the Secretary of State, RT Hon Michael Gove MP, and the Minister for Levelling Up at the next meeting of the Islands Forum in May.

Publishing date: 
Monday, 19 February, 2024