EFFORTS are being stepped up to resurrect the Hayling Ferry service.
Baker Trayte Marine, the company which owns the vessel, has now lodged its business plan to Langstone Harbour Board and believes it can bring the transport link back ‘within the next two months’.
We are ready to run, the boat is there. But we can’t spend £20,000 on a boat if this won’t happen.Tim Trayte
But director Tim Trayte warned that can only happen if money towards ongoing maintenance and repairs and staff wages is provided.
The strategy predicts operating costs in the first year would be £197,400 and the service needs a subsidy of at least £40,000. But residents at a public meeting held today pledged to rally together and find a way to secure cash.
Around 1,700 members on the ‘Save The Hayling Ferry’ Facebook page could be asked to contribute up to £10 each, which would then be used to get ‘match funding’ from Hampshire businesses.
Tony Berry, of social enterprise Community Empowerment, which helped save The Fox and Hounds pub, in Denmead, has offered to lobby for funding from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.
He added: ‘If Hayling Ferry want to register with us, we can give them back room support. We have the backing and knowledge to look for funding.’ A petition is to be set up and taken to Hampshire County Council in the hope it will help. Tim Trayte said his firm had cash, but long-term solutions need to be found.
He said: ‘We are ready to run, the boat is there. But we can’t spend £20,000 on a boat if this won’t happen. I know we’re seeing meeting after meeting, but we believe we can get it up and running within the next two months.
‘We can’t do that until we hear back from the councils and the board about what to do next.’