Update on Levelling Up Sea Links project: 11 October 2023

We are aware that there is a great deal of interest in the progress of the Council’s Levelling Up Sea Links project and have therefore provided a summary of the current situation below.

The Council is conducting a soft market assessment to gather information and gain an understanding of the level of interest across the private sector in delivering a lifeline sea link service through government-backed Levelling Up funding. Any interested parties have until 5pm on 31 October 2023 to respond.

This soft market test will be used to identify risks, promote innovation, encourage a positive relationship with suppliers, gather informed market intelligence and determine the potential level of competition, allowing better resource planning.

The information gathered from this process will be used to complete the business case, which the Department for Transport (DfT) requires in order to release the full £48.4m of Levelling Up funding to the Council. 

Once we have completed this process and updated our business case, we will submit the final version to DfT for their consideration. Even if DfT approves the business case, it can only be used to access the funding in the event that the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group is unable to complete its vessel replacement programme as they currently intend, using private financing. 

This work to develop the business case is funded by a £1.6m development grant, which is taken from the overall pot of £48.4m Levelling Up Funding allocated to the Council for the sea links project.

Publishing date: 
Wednesday, 11 October, 2023