High Court Hears One Viable Investor Remaining To Save Cork Swansea Ferry And 60 Jobs

PRESS RELEASE

20 December 2011

At a hearing in the High Court today (20 December), it was confirmed that there is only one investment proposal available to save the Cork Swansea ferry – currently in examinership.

The examinership process will continue with the West Cork Tourism Co-Op emerging as the only viable entity capable of returning the ferry to a profitable business model.

The West Cork Tourism Co-Operative Society has today outlined the urgent funding required to secure the future of the service which will allow them to present a financial proposal to the Examiner in early January.

To date €673,000 (as of today) has been raised by individual donors, customers, shareholders and local businesses, leaving just under €1 million to be raised.

Noel Murphy, Chairman of the Co-Op said, “The response we have received in such a short period of time has been overwhelming.

The West Cork Tourism Cooperative has agreed to present an investment proposal to the examiner early in 2012.

This business plan would be supported by €1.65 million which would be made available to Fastnet Line.

The Ferry provides the only direct passenger and freight link between the South West Irish region and the U.K. In so doing, it is a key generator of business and tourism and related revenues for both regions.

During its time in operation the ferry service was responsible for an additional €40 million per annum to the Munster Region. This kind of revenue to local businesses cannot be lost, especially in these stringent economic times

The ferry is also a vital piece of Irish transport infrastructure and brings tens of thousands of tourists into Southern Ireland - its collapse could hit the local economy to the tune of tens of millions in lost revenues”, said Noel Murphy.

At the event the Co-op will outline a number of management decisions designed to ensure the long-term viability of the service. These include altering the business model to a six-month sailing service and the establishment of more efficient marketing unit.

About the Ferry

  • The Fastnet Line companies are owned by the West Cork Tourism Co-Operative Society Limited which was formed in April 2009 to fund and operate the ferry as a community-based cooperative of over 450 investors and enterprises in both Wales and Ireland.
  • Since March 2010 153,000 passengers have used the Fastnet Line
  • A fundraising drive is underway in Ireland and Wales. The West Cork Tourism Cooperative, which currently owns Fastnet Line has agreed to present an investment proposal to the examiner in early 2012 in order to ensure the survival of the unique Cruise Ferry service between Ireland and Wales.
  • In total €1.65 million is needed and to date (20 December 2011) €661,500 has been raised by individual donors, passengers, shareholders, investors and local businesses, leaving less than €1 million to be found, and highlighting the level of local commitment and goodwill towards this service

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