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Solent Refit in the UK has secured a 30-year lease on the shipyard and is now seeking to improve the facilities further. The expansion plans include waterfront offices that will overlook the Southampton estuary.

The company hopes the new space will give clients, guests and subcontractors a place to work and carry out project meetings in a modern and relaxed surrounding. There will also be a lounge area and a gym for crew and guests.

In addition, the opening of a chandlery on site to service the surrounding area is also in the pipeline.

Managing director Allan Foot comments: “We are delighted with the newly signed extended lease, it gives our customers security that we are here to stay and it allows us to build on what we have and ultimately focus on making the facility one which our customers wish to return to for years to come.

“For the local community this gives peace of mind that the marine industry is secure here in Hythe and opens up the potential for us to employ more local quality skilled trade people who have a passion for the yachting industry.”

The company has also announced that an apprenticeship scheme has also been developed thanks to this new lease of life for the shipyard.

Solent Refit is located on the Southampton Water with easy road, air and rail link access.

The 10,000sq m undercover working halls can house around 10 vessel of 30m, 2 yachts of 45m and 2 units of 65m outside. In 2008 the facility had a £1m new roof installed.

Solent Refit has a skilled and qualified marine workforce in structural (steel, stainless steel, aluminium), mechanical and electrical engineering, including woodwork specialists (riding crews available at a moments notice).