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Gloucestershire Business News

Coronavirus: CBI welcomes ferries cash as ‘lifeline’ for South West

Vital routes for supplies and people have been protected through a government coronavirus support package to keep the flow of goods and services running smoothly in and out of the South West throughout the pandemic.

The funding will ensure the ongoing supply of critical goods into the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, with up to 31 routes eligible for support, subject to discussions with operators.

The UK is working closely alongside French and Irish partners and pledged in a joint statement to "strengthen partnership and share best practices", to ensure the continued movement of freight across the continent.

The freight and passenger support package covers:

  • Seven routes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Routes to the Isle of Wight
  • The Penzance-Scilly ferry
  • Twenty-six routes between Britain, France, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden, including Eurotunnel

CBI South West deputy regional director Ben Rhodes said: "The government's decision to stand behind the main operators in the roll-on-roll-off ferry sector at this difficult time acknowledges the vital role these services play ensuring essential goods reach the UK and the island of Ireland. These routes are the lifeblood of local economies so this support is very welcome in communities throughout the UK.

"These routes are critically important at this time for the movement of goods, including food and medical supplies.

"Businesses and the communities they serve across the country will breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that these crucial parts of the supply chain will remain in operation throughout the crisis."

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