Future uncertain for Weymouth as Condor to buy new super-ferry after licence agreement (From Dorset Echo)
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Future uncertain for Weymouth as Condor to buy new super-ferry after licence agreement
Updated 8:16am Tuesday 15th July 2014 in News
CONDOR Ferries will buy a new super-ferry after it was given the green light to apply for a 10-year licence to operate services between the UK and the Channel Islands.
But the future of Condor in Weymouth is still in doubt as the council doesn't have the money to upgrade a berth.
Condor says it will make 'significant performance commitments to the Islands' after States of Jersey and States of Guernsey reached an agreement on the licence.
Talks have been going on to secure it for more than a year.
This certainty will unlock funding from Condor's investors so it can purchase a new high speed ship, the Austal 102, which will replace its existing ferries.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council needs to secure around £10m to upgrade a suitable berth so the ferry can dock in Weymouth.
“The 102 will offer increased reliability, capacity and comfort,” said CEO of Condor Ferries, James Fulford.
He added: “We have not asked our Islands, or anyone else, for a subsidy for this purchase. "However, in order to make this significant investment, we have always said we need the certainty of a new operating licence.
"I am delighted that today, we are a step closer to achieving that certainty and investing in a new ship which will secure the future of high speed ferry services for our Islands.”