A luxury boat builder employing 380 people has vowed to stay in Oundle despite plans to open a manufacturing centre on the South Coast.
Fairline Yachts has just taken possession of a five acre site at Hythe, off Southampton Water, and will use the new facility to build boats larger than 60 ft.
The company says it is investing £30 million over the next four years creating the centre and in new product development.
The firm says it will continue to build boats smaller than 60 ft at its Oundle headquarters where it currently employs 380 people.
Building work is expected to take around nine months to complete and Fairline hopes to launch the new facility and begin boat building on the South Coast late next summer.
But bosses at Fairline have vowed that Oundle will continue to be the company’s headquarters, where the business has been for 50 years.
Over the next two years Fairline plans to employ 200 people at the new facility with some of its existing staff expected to relocate.
However, the company says the majority of employees will be new to Fairline and most likely from Southampton and the surrounding areas.
Russell Currie, managing director of Fairline Yachts, said: "As the global yachting market evolves, clients from across the world are increasingly demanding larger yachts than we’ve been able to create.
"Our new site, to be named Fairline Marine Park, will boast state-of-the-art facilities, giving us room to expand and create bigger boats, whilst making the most of the existing boat building skills in the location.
"By increasing our manufacturing capabilities across both Oundle and Southampton, we are future-proofing Fairline Yachts and retaining our commitment of investing in British boat building.”
MEP for Oundle and UKIP’s deputy leader Margot Parker said: “It was wonderful news to hear Fairline is investing £30m over the next four years creating a new centre on the South Coast.
“I’m also pleased the current jobs in Oundle will be kept, meaning an increase in manufacturing capabilities, both here and in Southampton.”