MP Says St Mary’s Quay Upgrade Can’t Go Ahead Without Penzance Project

St Mary's Quay

Scilly’s Member of Parliament says redevelopment of St Mary’s quay can’t start until the Penzance group that he chairs has finalised their project.

MP Andrew George says the Government views both Penzance and Scilly ends of the link as the same project.  And they’ll both have to be ready and approved before either gets the cash.

But that’s news to some members of the project team here who feel we should be able to get on with it as soon as possible and not wait for Penzance.

The Duchy of Cornwall and Council here in Scilly are preparing a bid for Department for Transport and European funding to make our quay compliant with health and safety legislation and to future-proof it against over topping by storms.

The Gateway Project, has chosen Philip Hygate as its chairman and has begun discussions with government over funding, just for our local scheme.

We have since learned that the DfT is prepared to give up to £5 million towards the £11 million total cost of the project in Scilly and the rest would have to come from Europe.

Scilly MP, Andrew George

Andrew George says he has no knowledge of any figures, adding all he knows is that the project has to be delivered for less than the Route Partnership, the unsuccessful scheme which the government failed to fund earlier this year.

Andrew says the Penzance group, which he chairs, is still putting together a bid which they would hope to hand over to a body like Cornwall Council who’d use it to secure government cash. However, the St Mary’s project appears to be more advanced.

Andrew says he’d also expect someone to bankroll the significant costs of preparing the Penzance scheme although Cornwall have already stated they are not prepared to spend any more time on the project. He says he feels European cash will still be on the table

Some observers believe the mainland plans may have to go back to square one in securing cash because it has changed from the approved scheme. The Penzance project has developed into a general seafront regeneration scheme so could require new planning applications to be submitted.

The unsuccessful Route Partnership included building a bespoke boat to run from 2014 when the MCA certification of the current Scillonian III is believed to expire. There’ll be no new build now.

Jeff Marston, Chief Executive of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company says there’s no truth in suggestions made by Penzance Chamber of Commerce that the company is trying to secure so-called ‘soft loans’ to fund a new vessel. He says they are talking with both the St Mary’s and Penzance project teams but are awaiting more information about the quay developments being proposed before they investigate boats – whether the quay is extended here will have an impact on the design of vessel.