THE Griffon Hoverwork factory at the Duver, Bembridge Harbour will deliver its final hovercraft hull on Tuesday, in what is the end of a manufacturing era on the Isle of Wight.

The craft, an AP1-88-400, the largest construction currently being undertaken by the Company, is being built for the Canadian Coastguard. The intention is that, weather permitting, a mobile crane will lift the hull onto Blade Runner Shipping Ltd’s self powered barge, Blade Runner I, on the slipway in Bembridge Harbour.

The hull is being moved to Griffon Hoverwork’s main site at Merlin Quay, Woolston where it will be offloaded on 09 May to be fitted out for trials during summer 2013 and subsequent delivery to the customer.

Article continues below this advertisement

Despite the closure, Griffon Hoverwork is keeping an expert presence on the Island in the Hovertravel engineering support section at Ryde.

Concentrating all manufacturing into the main site in Woolston has allowed the Company to compete effectively in the global hovercraft market. The new business won has meant that the size of the permanent workforce across the organisation has increased from 120 to 190 over the past 2 years.

Don’t miss another story! Get the Island’s latest news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily newsletter here.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.

Join our daily newsletter

News, Traffic & Travel Tweets