The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has granted £7.3m of funds to improve harbour infrastructure at St Mary’s Island and Penzance, as part of a £12.8m harbour scheme.
The project includes extending and widening the pier at St Mary’s and the addition of new freight storage facilities, in a bid to provide a better passenger experience.
Work on the harbour infrastructure is planned to commence in September and is expected to be completed by June 2015. The St Mary’s Quay extension is due for completion by March 2015.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "This funding will make a huge difference to the people of Scilly and also to visitors to the island, so vital to the local economy.
"These improvements will not only make it easier for those living on the islands to get about, but will also benefit those visiting the Scilly Isles, which is very important for the local economy."
Cornwall Council strategy, economy, enterprise and environment head Nigel Blackler said: "The harbour improvements proposed at St Mary’s and Penzance will help safeguard the future of the sea link by creating deeper water berths, which will increase the range of vessels which could potentially provide the service in the future."
The DfT also provided £1.8m funding for resurfacing of roads in the Council of the Isles of Scilly, dredging and traffic management improvements at Penzance.
Separately, McLoughlin awarded £1.7m to fund repairs of harbours affected by the harsh winter weather on the English coast at the end of 2013. This funding will be used for fixing small ports and harbours in Devon and Cornwall.
"Our small ports are vital to the livelihoods of the communities they serve and are the lifeblood of the local economy," McLoughlin added.
Image: The funding will be used for improving harbour infrastructure at both St Mary’s and Penzance. Photo: courtesy of Crown copyright.