15 December 2017
The governments of Jersey and Guernsey have today launched an open tender process to find an operator for a new passenger-only ferry service between the islands.
The successful operator will provide day-trips between the islands for residents, tourists and commuters, to operate from the beginning of May to the end of September, starting in 2018. The aim of the service is to deliver additional passenger numbers to both islands, resulting in increased economic impact due to additional spending. It will make it easier for visitors to ‘island hop’, and will improve social, cultural and sporting links between the two islands.
To help establish a regular and viable service, both governments are prepared to offer a level of financial assistance in the form of an underwrite, should it be necessary. The tender exercise is intended to identify and select an operator who would be able to access this underwrite.
The tender specification gives the successful bidder the option of providing an additional service to Alderney. It is understood that some funding towards this service may be available from the States of Alderney.
Earlier this year, the governments of Jersey and Guernsey (through the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture and the Committee for Economic Development) sought expressions of interest from operators interested in providing this service.
Submissions were received from nine businesses capable of providing the service. Having considered these in detail, both governments have agreed to proceed to a full tender process. All nine companies which submitted an expression of interest will be invited to submit a tender. As it is an open tender, companies that did not submit an expression of interest can also apply.
The Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, Senator Lyndon Farnham, said: “It is essential that we improve the opportunity for islanders and visitors to travel between the islands as soon as possible and the strong level of interest at this stage bodes well for the successful establishment of a service next year. I would encourage all operators who have so far expressed an interest to submit a tender."
The President of the Committee for Economic Development in Guernsey, Deputy Charles Parkinson, said: “The Committee was pleased to see such a positive response to the expressions of interest for this service. It demonstrates that there is a clear desire from a range of operators to establish a viable and sustainable service. We know from the approaches we have had to the Committee that this is something that the public in both Guernsey and Jersey are very keen to see established”.
Details of the tender can be found on the Channel Islands Tender Portal