Statement from the Council in relation to Harland & Wolff announcement concerning sea links between Scilly and the mainland

[Updated: 11.50am and 2.55pm on 1 September 2023]

The Council of the Isles of Scilly is aware of the announcement by Harland & Wolff on 30 August 2023, which sets out the company’s interest in building ferries and operating them on the route between the Isles of Scilly and the mainland. We appreciate that the community will have a number of questions about how this relates to the Council’s Levelling Up Fund Sea Links proposal.

We can confirm that the Council received a letter from Harland & Wolff on 30 August 2023 (dated 29 August 2023), which made us aware of the company’s proposal for the first time. As with all previous unsolicited expressions of interest in the route, the Council has forwarded Harland & Wolff’s letter to the Department for Transport and the National Shipbuilding Office and we will take no further action in relation to the letter at this time.

The Council, as requested by the Shipping Minister, continues to work with the Department for Transport to be in a position to submit a full business case to government to seek to unlock the funds. The business case will be presented to members at our Full Council meeting on 12 September 2023. The business case will then be subject to detailed analysis by government before a decision can be made by the Secretary of State for Transport. The Council, supported by Derek Thomas MP, is urging government to undertake this work and come to a decision urgently.

Publishing date: 
Friday, 1 September, 2023