SOUTHERLY Yachts, one of the biggest sailboat names in British boat-building, based at Itchenor Shipyard, has folded again, this time with the loss of some 50 jobs.
The builder, which once employed 165 people at Itchenor and its moulding operation in Havant, first went into receivership last year with reported debts of £1,972,520.
Creditors who met at the Gatwick Hilton Hotel on the eve of the August bank holiday weekend were told efforts to refloat the building arm of the business had failed, and that once three yachts currently under construction for customers were completed, production of the Southerly brand would cease.
Reacting to what he called the ‘deeply-regrettable skilled staff layoffs’, Alastair Spencer, chairman of West Itchenor Parish Council, said: “The potential loss of this boat-building company will be detrimental to us, to the harbour and it will permanently change the character of our village.”
The Observer made a number of unsuccessful attempts to contact Southerly but no one was available for comment.
Full story in the Chichester Observer, out on Thursday.