Princess Yachts International has signed the lease for a 15 acre (6 hectare) waterfront site at South Yard, Plymouth. Part of the famous Devonport Naval base, this facility has been acquired to enable Princess to commence the construction of a new range of large yachts. The bespoke craft, which will be over 100 feet, are too large to be built in Princess’ existing manufacturing sites.
Chris Gates, Managing Director at Princess Yachts International, said, “Acquiring this land is a significant step for the company’s future. We have been working for some time to achieve the waterfront location we require in the Plymouth area. Expanding locally has always been a priority not least because of the skilled workforce and supply chain we have established here over the years."
“The South Yard site will enable us to start immediate production of a new range of large craft. We have identified this market as key for Princess to ensure its growth and long term development, helping us secure stable employment for our workforce.”
With the additional 15 acres at an estimated phased investment cost of around £15m, Princess Yachts International now has over 38 acres of land in Plymouth, including its Newport Street head office and manufacturing site, Coypool, Lee Mill and Langage sites. The company remains one of the largest employers in the area.
One of the first yachts to be built at the South Yard site will be the Princess 105. Heralding the start of a new range of technically advanced, long range cruising yachts, it is estimated that the first finished craft will be completed by the end of 2010. The development of these new larger models forms a major part of Princess’ future expansion plans, and has helped secure the future employment of many of its existing staff.
Mr Gates continues, “Our reputation for design, engineering and manufacturing excellence has helped make Princess one of the leading brands in the world motor yacht market. This investment means we can meet increasing worldwide demands for larger motor yachts and continue to strengthen the company for the future. We are delighted with the support we have received from the MOD, Plymouth City Council, the South West Regional Development Agency, the Homes and Communities Agency and the Plymouth City Development Company in helping achieve this. Signing the lease marks the first step in a long process, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners in the area.”