Cockwells has announced an investment of £1.1 million (approx. €1.24 million) to expand its facility in Cornwall, England, with a new “contemporary creekside HQ” following “record-breaking sales” in recent years.
According to Cockwells, an outdated collection of sheds has been demolished at the heart of Creekside Village in Falmouth to make way for a purpose-built, low-impact headquarters of 1,058-square-metres.
It explained that, following record-breaking sales of its custom-build motors and luxury superyacht tenders, the redevelopment will provide a solid platform for innovation in the development of new products and services, stimulating long-term growth of the business. It will also enable the company to exploit potential market opportunities for advanced-engineered craft to compete in UK and international markets.
The 21-week project is predicted to cost some £1.1 million, including £491,825 from the European Regional Development Fund. It will culminate in a single modern, accessible, solar-powered workspace that will enable its office staff and all trades to work together to “provide seamless service to superyacht industry standards at an affordable price”.
In a recent release, Cockwells said that this will not only enhance working conditions and facilities for the Cockwells team, but will also allow the company to train 10% of its employees to NVQ4 level, and create 10 new highly skilled FTE jobs for the next four years.
The overarching aim of the investment in infrastructure and training, together with the introduction of Lean Processing to maximise efficiency, is to increase productivity by up to 50% and exports by 100%.
It is also about creating a sustainable model for the future, through which traditional skills unique to wooden boat building are shared with the next generation of boat builders through Cockwells’ apprenticeship scheme.
Dave Cockwell, founder and managing director, said, “Combining the artisan craftsmanship of the shipwright with the latest technological innovations, manufacturing processes and materials is what sets us apart in the highly competitive marine sector and this development will elevate the company to a higher plane.
“You can have all the modern machinery in the world, but unless you know how to use it, you will not achieve a quality product. At Cockwells, our highly skilled boat builders are as proficient with a chisel in their hands as they are at operating a CNC machine, so we combine techniques, materials and processes that improve the speed of the build process without ever compromising on quality. To be able to do this in a contemporary, fit-for-purpose workspace will enable us to compete for business even more efficiently as well as create more beautiful bespoke boats.”
The new HQ is being constructed to BREEAM Excellent standards, which will ensure its adherence to stringent, best practice, environmental performance through design, specification, construction and operation.
Full insulation, the adoption of renewable sources of power such as photovoltaic solar panels for electricity and a solar thermal system for heating will improve its environmental impact by reducing the company’s energy consumption.
The building, which will be completed by September, will also incorporate 250sqm of office accommodation as well as a lift, evacuation chair and hearing loops for full accessibility.
Cornwall-based Brady Construction Services has been appointed as lead contractor.
For more information, visit Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding Ltd.