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Polish ferry company in talks with Thanet council about Port of Ramsgate

By Paul Francis

A leading Polish ferry company is in talks with Thanet council about possible services from the Port of Ramsgate.

Polferries is the largest passenger and cargo operator in its country and runs services across the Baltic Sea between Poland and Scandinavia.

It is a former state-owned company founded in 1976 and runs a small fleet with a ferry terminal at Gdansk.

The Port of Ramsgate
The Port of Ramsgate

It is understood the company has held talks with Thanet Council officials about using Ramsgate, but the true extent of its interest is unclear.

The council, which has accumulated losses in millions of pounds, appointed an industry expert this year to review how the port could become viable.

Robert Hardy, of Paradox, was asked to lead investigations into reviving the port as a commercial venture.

He has 35 years of experience in the European transport industry, but some doubt whether the port can be resurrected given the proximity of Dover.

"The team... has been in discussions with several interested parties, both in the UK and on the continent" - Thanet council

Thanet council did not confirm the identity of Polferries but sources told the Thanet Extra the company is one of several it is talking to.

A statement issued by the council said it had been working on re-establishing ferry services at Ramsgate for two years, investing in dredging and repairs of the 'ro-ro' berths.

It added: "The team... has been in discussions with several interested parties, both in the UK and on the continent."

According to an analysis of the council's accounts, the Port of Ramsgate has led to a cumulative loss of £17.7 million since 2011.

There has been no cross-channel operation at the port since the collapse of TransEuropa in 2014, leaving the council facing unpaid berthing fees of £3.4m.

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