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Sunday, November 11, 2018 

The Appledore Shipyard in western UK, which owner Babcock International says will close in March next year, could be saved by proposals to build a new ferry to serve the Scilly Isles.

The current passenger ferry which serves the Scillies, Scillonian III (pictured), was built by the Appledore yard in 1977 and is in need of renewal. Local proposals suggest a replacement ferry could be built at Appledore, saving the 200 highly skilled jobs which are currently under threat. .

Friends of Isles of Scilly Transport (FRIST) has enlisted the backing of local Members of Parliament to ask the Shipping Minister to support the proposal. FRIST co-ordinator, Marian Berkeley said that the cost of redundancy payments to the Appledore workforce are estimated to be in the region of £20 million, roughly the cost of building a new ferry. She said: "Why not invest the money on something that will benefit islanders and North Devon in the long term?"

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