Ministerial Visit

Two of Cornwall’s most reputable yacht builders welcomed International Trade Minister Mark Garnier on Thursday 27 July to continue the successful working relationship between the Government and the marine industry. The Minister at the Department for International Trade (DIT) met with Pendennis Shipyard and Rustler Yachts to hear about their future ambitions and trade opportunities. Pendennis’ Managing Director, Mike Carr, said, “With an international client base, developing and maintaining a worldwide reputation is key to our business.”

Building on their global presence has been assisted in recent years through a £22million investment, partially assisted by European funding, into the company’s facilities and infrastructure, as well as focussing on recruiting and maintaining a high-quality skilled workforce. Mr Carr added “our highly successful award-winning apprenticeship scheme has welcomed over 200 recruits into Pendennis during the past 19 years, with a further 14 young people due to start on the four-year course at the beginning of August. By training these youngsters to our exacting standards in each of our specialist trades we can help ensure the future reputation of the business.”

Rustler Yachts is also a specialist sailing boat builder, producing high quality cruising yachts with a large degree of client driven customisation. The company’s series production yachts range from a pretty 24ft day boat up to a new 57ft world cruising yacht, all hand-built in Falmouth. Emphasis on export markets is key to the growth of the company, and recently Rustler yachts have been sold into New Zealand, Australia and the USA. Adrian Jones, Rustler’s Sales Director, said “It was a pleasure to meet the Minister and to explain our business and our vision for the future. He seemed genuinely interested in the products, and the discussions were open and frank about what the Government can do to help businesses of our size move forwards.”

During his visit, Mark Garnier toured the Pendennis facilities and took the time to meet apprentices training at the Shipyard. During meetings with Mike Carr, and Rustler Yachts Co-Directors Nick Offord and Adrian Jones they discussed the development of future overseas markets, priorities for the sector and how to maintain high skill levels in Cornwall as well as the wider the marine industry to ensure its continuing growth. The Minister said “I want more companies to follow their example and, as an international economic department, the Department for International Trade continues to support this sector by helping new and existing exporters to realise their global potential.”