UK superyacht builder and refit specialist Pendennis has secured planning approval from Cornwall Council for a major restructuring of its Falmouth shipyard in the UK.
The £10m, two-part development project will underpin its competitive future and will allow it to build larger yachts up to 90m-plus (295ft).
The approval relates to the first part of this plan — the existing dry dock and provision of two new 92m x 21m (301ft x 69ft) halls and other works to increase both the capacity and the operating efficiency of the yard.
The second part involves construction of an enclosed basin, which is entered through a tidal gate, providing extra berthing space for both new build yachts and refit projects.
The approval will see the dry dock cover being raised over 10m (33ft) and extending 177m x 30m (580ft x 98ft) with a higher front section. The two new halls alongside will be able to accommodate yachts up to 90m.
The existing boat shed will be reconfigured into two 46m x 15m (151ft x 49ft) bays plus new offices and a hospitality suite. The yard area in front of the new shed will be cleared of a number of small buildings and the present White Building will also go.
"This is hugely positive news for both Pendennis and the whole of Falmouth," Pendennis' sales & marketing director Toby Allies told the Falmouth Packet newspaper. "We have been a growing company in Falmouth for many years and these plans will allow us to improve our facilities and remain competitive in the sector."
Mike Carr, Pendennis' managing director, described the expansion plans to the BBC as "a protectionist move to keep up with the competition".
The reconfigured shipyard is anticipated to generate an extra 120 jobs by 2015, taking the workforce to around 470. Not only will the new layout give increased capacity, but it will allow the Pendennis Plus brand (formerly Devonport Yachts) to be catered for on the same site.
Pendennis Plus deals with yacht new builds and refits over 60m (197ft).