Published: January 6, 2009
Burnham-On-Sea ferry service could generate dozens of new jobs

Dozens of new jobs could be created in Burnham-On-Sea if a cross-channel ferry service launches in the town in 2011.

Burnham-On-Sea.com was first to report last October how businessman Chris Marrow is planning to set-up a £5million venture called Severn Sea Ferries which will operate ferry services around the Bristol Channel, between Somerset and Wales.

Burnham councillor Neville Jones, who is pictured on the right with Mr Marrow, recently attended a meeting where new details about the proposed service were discussed.

Cllr Jones told Monday night's meeting of the town council: "I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr Marrow and his directors on three occasions and he is no doubt that Burnham-On-Sea can play an important role in a total ferry service across the channel."

"Dependent upon local support - and that means Sedgemoor, as much as Burnham - he thought a service from Burnham could be launched by 2011."

"The prospect of revitalising the Burnham jetty, which was built in 1855/56, is a very real one. The total service, when up and running, would employ some 50 people."

Cllr Jones added: "It is clear that Ilfracombe and Minehead are front runners to get started and further studies will take place this year, seeking licences, permissions and further funding."

"Mr Marrow stressed that this will be a full ferry service, not a day excursion service, but the rise and fall in the tide would necessitate adjustments to times of sailing."

It is expected that the cost of a return ferry ticket to Wales will be in the region of £20.

Mr Marrow's plans include buying two 40-metre Fast Cat ferries from an operator on the Isle of Wight.

Each ferry would hold up to 350 people and have a top speed of around 34 knots. The venture has been in the planning for more than three years.

 




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