Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin MP will arrive on St Mary’s today (13th August) to announce that over £9m of Government investment has been allocated to progress the essential works to improve the Isles of Scilly sea link and local road network.
The islands’ largest economy is tourism and whilst this is common to many islands throughout the UK, none have an economy so dominantly based in one sector. Transport to the islands is therefore a key issue and the minister will announce a further £7.3m investment to improve the sea link facilities at St Mary’s and Penzance.
Mr McLoughlin said:
“Our small ports are vital to the livelihoods of the communities they serve and are the lifeblood of the local economy.
“The government has already provided significant funding to reverse the damage caused by an exceptionally wet and windy winter. I want to see this additional money help the recovery in these coastal towns.”
Mr McLoughlin will also take the opportunity to appraise the new runways at both Land’s End and St Mary’s and recognize their value in reducing significantly the number of delays and cancellations to the fixed-wing service.
The mobilisation of a batching plant for asphalt to resurface the airport runways has also created an opportunity to improve the local road network for the first time in 40 years. A further £1.8m will be made available to this programme of works.
Mr McLoughlin said:
“This funding will make a huge difference to the people of Scilly and also to visitors to the island, so vital to the local economy. Good transport links and high quality infrastructure are key for the island.
“These improvements will not only make it easier for those living on the islands to get about, but will also benefit those visiting the Scilly Isles, which is very important for the local economy.”
Chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, Amanda Martin, said ”I am delighted the Secretary of State recognizes the leadership the Council has taken in driving these projects forward. I also welcome the news that Mr McLoughlin is visiting the islands to witness for himself these essential projects which will have a positive impact on the daily lives of islanders and visitors for many years to come.”