The views of business leaders and passengers are being sought to help inform the development of a new Sea Services Agreement (SSA) for the Isle of Man.
The Department of Infrastructure is hosting a series of stakeholder workshops beginning early in September.
The targeted programme of engagement follows the Isle of Man Government’s purchase of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IoMSPC) in May. Approving the deal, Tynwald Members agreed that a new SSA should be signed within 12 months, to replace the existing User Agreement.
The workshops are designed to ensure full and proper consideration of the implications for the IoMSPC, and the people of the Isle of Man, in meeting the demand for freight and passenger services.
Invited representatives from businesses across the various economic sectors will explore a range of key issues relating to service patterns, service levels and freight and passenger customer service.
The information gathered at the workshops will be used to determine the social and economic priorities around sea services and inform the development of the new SSA.
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK said:
‘Gaining a comprehensive picture of what the Island wants and needs from its sea services is crucial in understanding how the new Sea Services Agreement should look. Representatives from a broad range of backgrounds will be consulted and their views will be considered as part of the public engagement process.’
The next step will be to survey key users over two weeks at the end of September. Particular attention will be paid to passengers, freight operators, wholesalers, retailers and those supporting the visitor economy.