Major boost for Rhyl Hoverlink operator after draft licence is granted


Suzanne Jordan

AN HOVERCRAFT operator bidding to run a service between Rhyl and Merseyside have been granted a draft licence.

Hoverlink Ltd met with Denbighshire County Council and were granted the draft licence to provide the prospective hovercraft service.

The company are set to have final talks with the Council for the landing rights at Rhyl and Prestatyn which they hope to get signed off within the next two weeks.

Simon Clitheroe, director of Hoverlink, said: “We had a very positive meeting yesterday [Thursday] to finalise the location and amenities needed to provide the service. The draft licence was created by Denbighshire County Council for the first time to support a hovercraft service within the Rhyl location.

“Hoverlink are looking forward to receiving the final licence which will allow us the ability to move the project a stage closer. From our investment evenings the granting of licences was paramount for the release of funds.”

Mr Clitheroe has been an acting crew member for New Brighton RNLI for the past nine years where he was part of a team operating a search and rescue hovercraft.

The 44-year-old, who is married to Julie and has two children, explained that the hoverlink was “born out of the ability of this craft” and how the “public react to a landing hovercraft in the area”.

He thanked Ann Jones, AM for the Vale of Clwyd, and Chris Ruane, MP for the Vale of Clwyd, for their support.

Mr Ruane expressed an interest in reviving the passenger service after making a speech in the House of Commons last year.

Denbighshire County Council added: “We have granted both candidates (Airspeed Hovercraft Solutions Ltd) a draft licence.

“This is not a legally binding document but a specimen for their legal staff to look over, for comments and for them to use to provide further information.

"The County Council is currently working with the operators who are planning to bring hovercraft services to Rhyl to sort out the detailed arrangements for arrivals and departures.”

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