St Mary’s and Penzance Harbours Project


Improving harbour infrastructure at St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly and Penzance in order to secure the sea link between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The Isles of Scilly are reliant on a sea link to the mainland as a lifeline for its communities and businesses.  To safeguard the sealink into the future, this project will see harbour improvements at St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly, and Penzance. The scheme consists of the following elements:

St Mary’s

  • 23m pier extension to existing quay to provide a deeper water berth to accommodate a future vessel replacement with up to one metre increased draft to that of the current Scillonian III;and provide improved protection for all vessels;
  •  Reclamation to widen vehicle access to the freight yard increasing the efficiencies of freight handling;
  • Replacement of footpath material to achieve improved pedestrian facilities along the quay;
  • Covered walkway in front of the Harbourside building to provide shelter for passengers;
  • Ticket office with three check in positions compared to only a single check in point currently so providing more efficient operation and security measures;
  • Freight office and storage facilities including chillers and frozen stores to reduce damage to goods and provide some storage to create some resilience in terms of food stocks during periods of bad weather in which deliveries are cancelled.  

Penzance (Non ERDF funding but included as part of the overall package of project proposals)

  • Dredging to increase the depth of water on the immediate approach to the harbour, Lighthouse Pier berth and Albert Pier ‘storm’ berth to accommodate a future vessel replacement of up to one metre depth increased draft to that of the current Scillonian III.
  • Coach parking bays, car drop-off area and pedestrian improvements on roads in the harbour area together with an extension of 20mph speed limit to improve safety in the vicinity of the harbour for all users.

The project increases the likelihood of the sea service continuing to operate when the existing vessel reaches the end of its useful economic life.  Without the project it is unlikely that replacement second hand vessels could operate the link and a new build bespoke vessel build is unlikely to be affordable