Manufacturer to set up second factory

Press release from Sunseeker about just-announced expansion plans:

Sunseeker International Limited has agreed outline terms with US-based Luhrs Marine for the purchase of its Legend Yacht manufacturing facilities at Osprey Quay, Portland on the UK’s South Coast. The site will be acquired to accommodate Sunseeker International’s planned expansion with a licence to use the facilities immediately, and production starting as soon as the purchase is complete.

With demand for Sunseeker motoryachts growing year on year, specifically for the larger models, the need for more waterside production space has been an important issue for Sunseeker. With further investments being made at the company’s shipyard headquarters in Poole these new facilities will allow Sunseeker to meet future demand.

Robert Braithwaite MBE, managing director and founder of Sunseeker International commented, “Osprey Quay is an ideal location for our future expansion plans, we are particularly pleased that we can continue to build the business locally. I am sure that by moving a level of production to the Portland location we will be able to build on the company’s success whilst adding to the growth of the local economy and utilising the boatbuilding skills available in the area.”

Sunseeker is the world’s largest privately-owned builder of motor yachts of this type and is the UK’s largest producer with a current staff level over 1,800. The company recently launched its largest model to date, the 37 metre tri-deck yacht, at the London International Boat Show. With a number of orders already confirmed and a new range of models over 30 metres in development, the new facilities at Portland will play an important part in meeting future deliveries.

Sunseeker has worked closely with Luhrs and the South West of England Regional Development Agency (South West RDA) to secure the deal. Luhrs’ managing director, Stephen Cutsforth, said “We are pleased Sunseeker has agreed to take advantage of this excellent site and skilled employee base, and will build on a solid marine footing that has been developing here – very much in line with South West RDA and Weymouth and Portland’s Borough Council’s vision.”

Sunseeker is expecting production to be underway in May this year and is planning to employ up to 500 skilled staff at the 11.5 acre site over the next four years.

Commenting on behalf of South West RDA, Deputy Chief Executive, Colin Molton said: “We are delighted that, in order to facilitate expansion, the world renowned, Poole based motor yacht builder, Sunseeker International, are purchasing the facilities at Osprey Quay. We are encouraged to see a global brand such as Sunseeker going from strength to strength and expanding in South West England. The announcement that Sunseeker will be coming to Osprey Quay, a regeneration project led by South West RDA, is recognition that the development is creating the right business environment for the growth of the marine sector.”

Luhrs Marine will be remaining in the UK with a European headquarters for sales and customer service.