Premier Celebrates 25 Years
The company started in 1994 with a portfolio of just Chichester and Port Solent marinas. In the following 13 years, Premier grew to become the UK’s largest coastal marina owner and operator by acquiring Falmouth, Brighton, Southsea, Gosport, Swanwick and Sovereign Harbour marinas, and the specialist boatyard Endeavour Quay, in Gosport.
The group’s acquisition by The Wellcome Trust in May 2015 allowed Premier to develop a long term strategy for the business whilst facilitating the acquisition of Noss on Dart Marina in 2016 and the Waterfront at Sovereign Harbour in 2018.
The purchase of Noss on Dart brought with it the chance to redevelop the derelict site of the former Philip & Son shipyard and transform it into a wonderful marina and waterside destination. Premier fully embraced this opportunity by putting in place ambitious plans for the site; these plans were granted planning consent in August 2018, which gave the group the green light to begin the £75m redevelopment of the marina, now currently underway.
This ability to take a long term view of its portfolio and to invest strategically extends across the Premier group; ensuring sites evolve and are fit for the future in an ongoing cycle of evaluation and regeneration. Examples of this strategy in action include Premier’s development of new boatyards at Chichester and Swanwick where aging infrastructures were replaced by modern boatyards and fit for purpose workshops – responsibly built and in keeping with their sites.
Similarly, at Swanwick, Premier is mid-way through the replacement of its floating marina, bringing the site’s pontoons, security and access in line with the increased size of modern production boats and the requirements of today’s boat owners.
FIVE STAR FACILITIES
Alongside headline projects such as Noss, Premier looks to the care and comfort of its berth holders, part of which includes the incremental installation of five star facilities across the group’s sites, with berth holders enjoying ‘private’ bathrooms that are equitable to those in the very best hotels. But it is not just physical infrastructure that attracts Premier’s commitment, the group continues to invest in customer service, staff training and new technologies that improve the customer journey. Similarly, the company has introduced complimentary offerings such as Premier Marine Insurance, Premier Dry Stacks, Premier Self Store and The Salterns apartments. These portfolio extensions complement its berth holder offering and are instrumental in attracting growth and new customers to the marinas.
The importance of “how things are done” has been central to Premier’s culture from the very beginning, and this is demonstrated in its approach to health, safety and environmental management. Premier was delighted to be the first marina group to achieve the ISO 14001 Environmental accreditation in 2018 and is currently going through the assessment process for the ISO 45001 Health and Safety accreditation.
It was also the first marina operator to introduce waste recycling facilities across all sites and has been a keen adopter of green energy strategies, reducing its carbon footprint by 226 tonnes each year through investment in photovoltaic solar panels.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Today, as the UK’s largest and most successful marina group, Premier owns and operates nine of the South Coast’s most prestigious marinas. It is also the only marina group to offer boatyard and fuel services at every site and remains committed to investing, adapting and reshaping its business to suit an evolving and challenging market. The business has ambitious plans for redeveloping a number of its sites and remains keen to add to its portfolio.
Pete Bradshaw, CEO explained: “We are incredibly proud to have reached our 25th year. Premier’s success is built on a culture that inspires loyalty and we are lucky to have many long standing staff, customers, tenants and suppliers. The Premier team is undoubtedly key to our success; on average our employees have seven years of service and we have 29 members of staff who have been with us for more than 10 years. Premier would not be the business it is without them; they are what helps make it such a fantastic company.
“Whilst we take time to reflect on our achievements, we also like to think about the company’s future. The foundations we have built have put us in a great position to deal with the challenges that change brings. Our plans will see us not only make our marinas the best choice for boat owners but also attract a broader range of people to our sites. Boating is still out of reach for many people because it is perceived as complex and expensive. Premier has the opportunity to help make boating more accessible and I believe this will become our purpose in the coming years.”
To mark this milestone, Premier will be inviting berth holders and long-standing employees to attend its Stand E046 at the Southampton Boat Show on Tuesday, 17 September from 16.00 – 17.30 to join in celebrating this important waypoint in its ongoing progression. Customers and employees can also contribute to Premier’s celebration of its 25 years in business by uploading images of Premier marinas over the years to #premiersince1994.
Established in 1994, Premier Marinas’ modest two marina portfolio composed of Chichester and Port Solent.
Premier Marinas now owns and operates nine of the UK’s most prestigious marinas. All based on the South Coast, locations include: Eastbourne, Brighton, Chichester, Southsea, Port Solent, Gosport, Swanwick, Noss on Dart and Falmouth in Cornwall.