Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding is set to continue its ambitious programme of expansion with the acquisition of The South West Shipyard in Cornwall.
Cockwells has purchased the freehold of this waterside site at Ponsharden, between Falmouth and Penryn, to enable the company to meet 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, a quay and a slipway. The acquisition 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,” says founder and MD, 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,” says 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. Our purchase of The South West Shipyard provides us with the security to plan for the future. This is good news for us as well as our wider community 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 at the site to renegotiate their leases.