The government has announced plans to repair and improve critical infrastructure at Douglas harbour ahead of the arrival of the new Steam Packet vessel next year.

Repairs will also include work on the walls of King Edward VIII Pier, with measures being taken to protect the foundations against underwater erosion as the structure has not been worked on for more than 25 years

The project will replace and strengthen aspects of the harbour to accommodate the size of the new vessel, the Manxman, which is eight metres longer than the Ben-my-Chree, with alterations also seeking to mitigate damage from stormy conditions and high winds.

That larger vessel is expected to be delivered in April 2023.

Work is proposed to start at the end of summer next year and be completed by winter that same year, the project has been put out to tender this week on the government’s ‘Procurement Portal’.

Some of the works are subject to planning approval.

Infrastructure Minister Chris Thomas MHK said: ‘The arrival of the new ship is eagerly anticipated for many reasons, and it’s important we adapt our existing infrastructure to ensure it is well-protected heading into the winter months.’