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Isles of Scilly Link

The air and sea links between the mainland and the Isles of Scilly are the ‘lifeline’ for the communities and businesses of Scilly.

The sea link provides transport for the majority of freight and over 80,000 passengers to and from the Isles, a lower cost option for passengers and an alternative for air passengers when flights are cancelled. 

Waiting passengers, freight, vehicles and vessels are all exposed to the elements with little protection and both harbours have:

  • Poor passenger interchange facilities and access
  • Limited water depth restricting the range of vessels that can use the harbours
  • Freight damaged through restricted handling and exposure to the elements
  • Congestion and/or conflict between pedestrians and vehicles
  • Lack of secure check-in facilities 

St Mary's Harbour

  • Extending the quay to further protect the vessel, provide a deeper water berth and increase the space available for managing passengers and handling freight
  • New freight storage facilities which provide safer storage and chillers which allow longer storage
  • Improved harbourside building with a covered pedestrian walkway and waiting room
  • New ticket office with three check-in points for passengers and luggage
  • Reclaimed land to provide a wider vehicle access, so reducing conflicts


  • Dredging to increase water depth and improve access to the harbour, Lighthouse Pier and the Wet Dock
  • Dredging to increase water depth and improve access to Albert Pier (the storm berth)
  • Coach parking / drop off and highway improvements including extension of 20mph zone

On 13 August 2014 the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that the Government will support the scheme with a grant of £7.3m towards the £12.8m overall project cost. The project costs are divided between the two harbours. The improvements at St Mary’s take the larger share at £10,910,000.  The dredging and highway improvements at Penzance have an allocation of £996,000.  The project is being promoted by the Department for Transport which has also funded the £976,000 preparatory costs.  In total the Department is contributing £7,323,000 with the European Regional Development Fund providing the remaining £5,560,000

The Council has prepared a leaflet giving more details of the project’s history and the funding sources supporting the project