North Devon and Torridge’s MPs are continuing to push for a new passenger ferry for the Isles of Scilly to be built at Appledore Shipyard.

Peter Heaton-Jones and Geoffrey Cox met with Minister for Transport Nus Ghani in Parliament this week.

The Scillonian III is a passenger ferry connecting Penzance with the Isles of Scilly and was built at Appledore in 1977.

A new passenger ferry now needs to be built and the MPs are pushing for this too to happen at Appledore, as plans continue for the yard to close in March.

The discussions with the Transport Minister this week focused on whether a new ferry could be built at Appledore in the near future to help maintain the operations of the yard and preserve the jobs of the highly-skilled workforce.

In November 2018, Mr Cox facilitated an introduction between the senior management of the Isle of Scilly Steamship Group and Babcock.

Following discussion with the Minister for Transport, the MPs said: "Our meeting with the Minister was extremely useful.

"She has agreed to make further enquiries with the ferry company to pursue what plans the company has to build a new ship.

"The analysis shows that the preparatory work which needs to be in place in order for the project to begin is far from complete but we will co-operate with all stakeholders to explore this opportunity."

But operators Babcock told the Gazette last week that the process to exit operations at Appledore next month was underway.