Local businesses on the Isles of Scilly have been reaffirming their support for the proposed Penzance Heliport.
While Cornwall Council’s Strategic Planning Committee is set to consider the amended application for Penzance Heliport next week (June 28), some of Scilly’s largest businesses have repeated that planned future investments are reliant on the enhancements to resilience, accessibility and capacity that, they say, Penzance Heliport will deliver
Ongoing support for Penzance Heliport has been confirmed by Karma Group, Tregarthens Hotel, Tresco Estate, Star Castle Hotel, the Duchy of Cornwall, Garrison Holidays, Scilly Self Catering, St Mary’s Hall Hotel, Sibleys Fuel and Marine, and St Austell Brewery, which owns a hotel and two pubs on St Mary’s.
Penzance Heliport will reinstate helicopter flights to the Isles of Scilly from Penzance, serving the islands of St Mary’s and Tresco, with flights anticipated to begin in 2019. The Penzance Heliport service will fly to both Tresco and St Mary’s, and will enhance travel choice, accessibility and resilience to the Isles of Scilly.
Chris Diplock, vice president of Karma Group, which owns Karma St Martin’s, and plans to invest £5 million on the islands, creating 20 full time jobs, said: “Penzance has better road and rail infrastructure, hotels and restaurants and is altogether more satisfactory as a transport hub, which will facilitate growth. Unless permission is granted for a proper helicopter service based in Penzance we will seriously consider our plans for expansion and investment.”
Clifford Freeman, owner of St Mary’s Hall Hotel and Scilly Self Catering, added: “The travel problems of the last few years mean I have held back investment on the islands, as the lack of certainty of guests and visitors arriving and more importantly rebooking is a real threat to my business. I look forward to a time when travel is no longer seen as the biggest issue Scilly has, and that I believe will be helped with a helicopter service based in Penzance.”
Ian Sibley, partner at Sibleys Fuel and Marine Services, added: “It is our belief that the reintroduction of a helicopter service from Penzance, specifically, will help to underpin growth in our island economy, and afford businesses the confidence to invest in the long-term future of the islands.”
Robert Dorrien-Smith from Penzance Heliport said: “It is testament to the importance of this project to the whole of the Isles of Scilly that these varied businesses, from across the islands and across different sectors, still stand behind Penzance Heliport.”