A row over a multi-million contract to build two new ferries by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group (ISSG) in Vietnam over UK shipbuilders have been ‘hugely let down’ say union bosses’, it’s been reported.

French shipbuilder Piriou was awarded the £42 million contract for the new vessels and is looking to replace the iconic Scillonian III by 2026.

Earlier this year Defence Secretary Grant Shapps took the unusual step of intervening in the decision, and said he was ‘dismayed’ by the actions of the (ISSG) in opting to use the French shipbuilder Piriou for the £42 million-pound contract.

In a letter, written in his capacity as the government’s shipbuilding tsar, and addressed to the Isles of Scilly Council, the Minister said he appreciated ‘how vital the lifeline passenger and freight services’ were to the Isles of Scilly communities and businesses.

The Island archipelago is 28 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean, and the most remote and tropical islands off the coast of Cornwall. 

The link to the islands is in need of replacement and a huge issue say community and business leaders.

Westward Shipping News, Matthew Clark reports.