The Isle of Man government and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IoMSP), a passenger shipping company, have signed a new strategic sea services agreement.
As informed, the historic agreement has taken over six years to negotiate and sets the direction of the Steam Packet for the next 25 years.
The deal includes a wide range of requirements to ensure that the island has the sea services it needs for its long-term economic and social wellbeing.
In return for the almost exclusive use of the island’s linkspans, IoMSP is required to invest in new vessels and provide regular services throughout the year. What is more, the shipping company has committed itself to a reduction in carbon emissions.
“The new sea services agreement is a logical and timely replacement of the existing user agreement. It creates a strong long-term foundation from which to deliver continued investment that meets the needs of the island’s residents, businesses and visitors,” Mark Woodward, Chief Executive of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, commented.
Woodward explained that the deal will allow the company to further implement its investment plans: “It will not only stabilise the future of sea services for the island and its people but deliver significant improvement in vessels and infrastructure in the years to come.”
The government is the sole shareholder of the Steam Packet after Tynwald agreed to the government purchasing the company in May last year.
Under the deal worth GBP 124 million, the government bought 100% of MIOM Ltf, the parent company of IoMSP.
Founded in 1830, the company has two vessels that operate regular ferry services between the Isle of Man, Heysham and Liverpool and seasonal services between the Isle of Man, Belfast and Dublin.