"Dorset Business Group Supporting Condor Relocation from Weymouth"
8:26am 15th May 2014
Weymouth's tourism chief fears they might lose Condor because a joint business body in Dorset, is favouring Poole Harbour over Weymouth.
Ian Bruce accused the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), while telling us he's writing to ministers to try and get £10 million pounds worth of funding, so the Borough can accommodate Condor's proposed new ferry at Weymouth Port.
The new vessel will be too big to safely berth in Weymouth.
The Borough Council has spent millions of pounds refurbishing the harbour berth and sea wall to get Condor back to the town.
Councillor Bruce claims the majority of Condor staff live in or near Weymouth and it's important they stay in Weymouth;
"Condor's ships berth here during the winter while maintenance takes place, and with passengers sometimes staying overnight in the resort before boarding a ferry, Condor's presence in Weymouth is a vital boost to the economy."
Weymouth's ferry income isn't ring-fenced, unlike Poole which is a 'trust' port, so Councillor Bruce thinks the LEP are wrong to bid for cash for the Poole port, when Weymouth's need is greater.
Currently, no final decision has been made on purchasing a new larger ferry, which would also need negotiations with Channel island authorities before it could go ahead.