Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding Ltd continues its ambitious programme of expansion with the acquisition of The South West Shipyard at Ponsharden.
Cockwells has purchased the freehold of the waterside site, located between Falmouth and Penryn, to enable the Company to meet unprecedented demand for its award-winning Duchy Motor Launches and Hardy motor yachts.
The shipyard comprises two large sheds that equate to 25,000 square feet of undercover space, which have been managed as two separate entities until now. This acquisition – which will unite these sheds, its quay and slipway – has been 100% funded by Cockwells and its shareholders.
“We are proud to create a fantastic new resource for marine manufacturing, adjacent to the Penryn River, which will provide more highly-skilled jobs for local people.” Explains Founder and Managing Director, Dave Cockwell. “With the expansion of our Duchy Motor Launches to include 45′ and 60′ models, our recent acquisition of the Hardy brand of motor yachts that range from 32′ to 65′, and a very strong forward order book, we need more space than our purpose-built HQ at the Mylor Creek Boatyard will allow. The South West Shipyard will provide us with additional capacity so that we can build more of these larger vessels.”
The Company intends to maximise its boat-lifting facilities and provide slipway and boatyard services for local fishermen and other small commercial craft. A dedicated training bay for its growing number of apprentices is also part of the plan.
The site will undergo full refurbishment within the next 12 months to provide an attractive and energy-efficient working environment. It is anticipated that this expansion will create at least another 50 highly-skilled jobs across all the trades.
“2020 was an extraordinary year of growth for us and our most successful to date in spite of the global pandemic.” Concludes Dave Cockwell. “We have already employed 50 additional members of staff, and lockdown has stimulated demand like never before as people dream of the freedom that comes with owning a boat. Whilst we continue to rent the nearby Vospers’ site until it is sold for redevelopment, our purchase of The South West Shipyard provides us with the security to plan for the future. This is good news for us and good news for Falmouth and Penryn because we are creating well-paid jobs, sharing our skills with the next generation and safeguarding the local marine industry.”
Cockwells has invited existing marine sector tenants to renegotiate their leases at the Ponsharden site.
For more information, visit www.cockwells.co.uk
[by Abigail King]