Europe’s oldest dry dock is set to close at the end of May which could be the end of an era in a Cornish town. Penzance Dry Dock was the first of its kind in Europe when it opened in 1834 but now looks set to close.
The facility is leased by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group which has confirmed that it is pulling out.
In a statement the group, which runs ferry services to the islands and is based in Penzance, said: “The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group has leased Penzance Dry Dock and operated it as a business since 2009. In 2019, the company decided to focus on its core operations of transporting passengers and freight by sea and air.
“Following an extensive review over the past 18 months, the company has regretfully decided not to renew its lease of Penzance Dry Dock and will close the operation at the end of May this year.
“This decision affects 11 employees who were informed in February. Following a consultation process, around half this number are expected to be retained in other roles within the business.”