Marina operator sold to charity by investment group

Bar staff Matt Shaw and Megan McEnroe at Drift on Hayling Island

Old boathouse offers cocktails with a twist and views over the sea

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A MAJOR marina operator has been bought by a charitable foundation.

The Wellcome Trust has acquired marina operator Premier Marinas Limited (PML) from the BlackRock UK Property Fund for an undisclosed amount.

Established in 1994, PML owns and operates eight UK marinas on the south coast, including sites in Swanwick, Eastney and Gosport.

The acquisition adds another business to the trust’s £18bn endowment that already includes substantial property and agricultural operations.

Peter Pereira Gray, managing director of the Wellcome Trust’s investment division, said: ‘Taking sole ownership of PML adds a third wholly-owned UK asset-backed operating business to the trust’s investment portfolio and is a demonstration of our commitment to the industry and our confidence in the management team and employees. 

‘We will take a long-term approach to the ownership of the business and look forward to the continued success and growth of PML.’

The Wellcome Trust is the world’s second highest-spending charitable foundation, dedicated to driving improvements in human and animal health.

It spends more than £800m a year on supporting biomedical research, the humanities and the social sciences, and on public engagement and education in these fields.

PML’s operations include more than 5,000 wet and dry berths, and shore storage for over 2,000 boats, including fully serviced boatyard facilities.

There is also 300,000sq ft of rental property across its marinas.