£10m ferry ready to sail after construction at Merseyside yard

A new £10 million ferry is ready to sail away from the shipyard after being built on Merseyside.

Shipbuilder Cammell Laird has completed the Red Kestrel, a freight-only vessel for Isle of Wight ferry operator Red Funnel, after nine months of work.

The ferry, the 1,393rd vessel built at the yard in Birkenhead, Wirral, is due to start operating between Southampton and the Isle of Wight in May.

New Red Funnel ferry
New Red Funnel ferry

Cammell Laird employed 200 direct workers, 200 sub-contractors and 10 apprentices on the contract, used 45 British supply chain businesses and the project generated 3,000 man hours of work for apprentices.

Chief operating officer Tony Graham said: “Cammell Laird would like to thank Red Funnel for placing its trust in us to build this wonderful state-of-the-art ferry, drawing on all our marine engineering expertise.

“Completing this ship sends a very strong message to the global maritime industry about Cammell Laird’s ferry building capabilities after we won the contract against international competition.

“We are proud to see the Red Kestrel join a collection of ferries that Cammell Laird has built in recent years in addition to the large number of drydockings and repairs we do each year in the ferry sector.”

The shipbuilder is also constructing £200m polar research ship the RRS Sir David Attenborough, which is the largest civilian ship to be built in the UK for 30 years.