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Replacing an icon

The crucial signing of a new contract between BMT and the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group (ISSG) for vessel design and consultancy services will provide the next generation of essential life-line travel and freight services to the Isles of Scilly.

ISSG is planning to replace the iconic ‘Scillonian III’, which was purpose built for the ISSG, and entered into service in May 1977, making it the longest running service passenger ferry to date. With a unique heritage, the first Scillonian was built and completed her maiden voyage in 1926, and since then has been an integral part of the islanders’ lives, providing vital transportation to and from the island, and also boosting tourism and the economy.

The procurement of new vessels, will secure vital transportation links for the future, and boost tourism and economy on the islands. The ISSG require a flexible vessel design solution to run between the harbours of Penzance and St Mary’s, in addition to an onward freight supply chain from St Mary’s to the off islands of St Martins, Tresco, Bryher and St Agnes.

Noel Tomlinson, Business Development Director for Specialised Ship Design at BMT said, “Our highly-skilled team at BMT are thrilled to be working with ISSG on greener, more efficient vessel designs. Our proven portfolio of passenger and freight ferry designs ensures that we are best placed to support lifeline ferry operators such as ISSG.

“The designs will maximise passenger and crew comfort, will be capable of operating in the challenging conditions of the Atlantic ocean route, whilst meeting all existing and known future regulatory requirements. In addition, the new designs will be optimised to meet the unique requirements of the UK mainland and island ports.”

Stuart Reid, Chief Executive of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, said: “BMT have world-class naval architecture and engineering experience and we’re delighted to have them on board as we start to shape our asset replacement programme to meet the needs of the islands’ community and visitors to Scilly.

“We are consulting islanders and key stakeholders about what sort of marine service they would like to see in the future, and BMT are working with us on translating this into concept designs. We will be giving an update on progress at our AGM in October.”

BMT has pioneered the design and development of purpose-built passenger ferries since the early 1980s; this latest partnership between BMT and the ISSG will see an important step of bringing communities together, and promoting wider opportunities for travel and tourism within the area.

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