The UK’s Wight Shipyard Co has been formally presented with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade. The award was presented by Mrs Susie Sheldon JP, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, to Peter Morton, Chief Executive of The Wight Shipyard Co. in a ceremony at the thriving yard in East Cowes. The award was in particular recognition of their outstanding short-term growth in the export market.
Said Peter Morton, “We are delighted to accept this prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category on behalf of everyone at the yard who are very much part of the re-birth of the British shipbuilding industry. We set out to stem the tide of orders going to overseas yards and to capitalise on the local skills that we are fortunate to have on the Isle of Wight.”
Following the successful completion of that project, discussions began with the owners of Red Funnel about the construction of the new Red Jet fleet of fast catamarans servicing the Isle of Wight and to date two have been built and continue to be serviced at the yard.
Orders quickly followed for two Thames Clippers with the yard proving its capabilities in high-tech aluminium construction, but the big success has been in effectively competing internationally with overseas yards. Exports to date include two 450 pax ferries for Mexico, a 40-metre vessel for Austria and four vessels for Malta with 50% of Wight Shipyard Co revenue coming from export over the last five years.