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Ship repair to return to port

The time is right says The SMS Group for new premises, new investment, and a new headquarters location. Specialists in ship repair, marine engineering and major fabrication projects in the Commercial Marine.

Relocating the headquarters represents a strategic decision to move SMS Southampton closer to its core customer base, and at the same time improve its geographical location. The move to Western Avenue, within ABP Southampton’s footprint adjacent the King George V drydock, is part of a longer-term plan to ensure both sustainability and commercial longevity. SMS Southampton is headed up by Ben Rowe and Dave Chaffers.

Ben Rowe said: “Since the acquisition of 2017 we deliberately and decisively made the decision to retain the Western Avenue site within our Estates Portfolio to ensure that, when the time came, we were best placed to capitalise on the benefits of this historically proven footprint.”

“I started my career on the footprint as an apprentice for Testbank Ship Repair.  Up until 2005, the site was A&P’s home - perfectly adjacent to the 366m King George V dry dock.  The site is great, the location perfect and the move long overdue.”

Dave Chaffers said: “We’ve taken this decision now due to three very credible reasons. One, the time is right, as a Group, and as a Business Unit, we’re trading profitably and ahead of budget.”

“Two, the site is perfect - it’s within the port, adjacent to a main transit route, easily accessed from the M271; it’s close to all the ports agents, and, as Ben’s mentioned, the site is historically proven to be good home for ship repairers. It makes up part of our Estates Portfolio and the location is second-to-none; it really is ideal.”

“And three, it coincides nicely with the planned ‘change of purpose’ at Ocean Quay; they’ll be undertaking further works of non-marine restoration which is contrary the modern profile of SMS and that of our customers’ requirements.”

The new location will see The SMS Group investing in both the fabrication workshop and a new mechanical workshop, with further investment being made in the offices. The location will also improve the company’s quayside presence, and its mobility within the city’s port infrastructure.

The new trading address will be: The SMS Group, Western Avenue, Western Docks, Southampton, Hampshire, SO15 0HH.  All telephone numbers will remain unchanged.

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