Red Kestrel, the newest addition to Red Funnel’s fleet, has been officially named at a traditional ceremony attended by 200 invited guests including the Minister of State for Employment at Department of Work and Pensions. Alok Sharma MP’s speech highlighted the importance of British craftmanship, supporting local jobs and the revival of world-class shipbuilding in the UK.

Red Kestrel is 74m in length, providing 265 lane metres of roll-on/roll-off freight capacity, allowing for 12 HGVs and limited to 12 passengers. Built at Cammell Laird at Birkenhead, the project used 45 British supply chain businesses and generated 3,000-man hours of work for Cammell Laird’s apprentices.

“Red Kestrel marks an important new direction for us as our first-ever freight ship,” said Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel. “With the growth in the Isle of Wight economy over recent years, we had reached a point where we could no longer fulfil the growing demand. Red Kestrel is designed to provide additional year-round freight capacity for our Southampton to East Cowes route, which currently handles 53% of all freight movements across the Solent. Our investment marks a vote of confidence that the UK and Isle of Wight economies are going to continue to grow and we can support this growth with the additional sailings Red Kestrel will provide.”

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