Westminster Group Plc (‘Westminster’ or the ‘Group’), the AIM listed supplier of managed services and technology based security solutions to governments andgovernment agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGO’s)
and blue chip commercial organisations worldwide, is pleased to announce that the grand launch ceremony of its new flagship ferry, Sierra Queen, will take place in Freetown on 11 June 2015.
The grand launch ceremony, hosted by Westminster’s Chairman Lt Col Sir Malcolm Ross GCVO, OBE, will involve a formal reception attended by the President of Sierra Leone and around 150 invited guests including government ministers and members of parliament, representatives of various diplomatic missions, airlines, hotels and business leaders. During the reception there will be a number of speeches, from; His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone; the Hon. Balogun Koroma, Minister of Transport; His Excellency Mr Peter West, British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone; Sir Malcolm Ross, Chairman of Westminster; and Peter Fowler, Westminster’s CEO.
Following the speeches, the First Lady, Mrs Sia Koroma, will officially name and launch the Sierra Queen. Due to tight security at the event attendance will be by invitation only.
The new Sovereign Ferries website providing information including routes and tariffs, as well as visitor information on Sierra Leone, is due to go live around the launch date. The ferry is expected to start trial operations shortly after the launch and crossing times and schedules will be displayed on the new Sovereign Ferries website. The site will allow ferry crossings to be booked online and in advance with automatic seat allocations.
Commenting on the launch ceremony Peter Fowler, Chief Executive of Westminster Group, said: “I am delighted to announce the official launch of our new flagship vessel, Sierra Queen, and look forward to commencing operations. “The Sierra Queen is a very impressive vessel and is just the first of what we expect to be a growing fleet of vessels. Over the next year or so we will be developing ferry terminals on both sides of the river and will work with the Government and Ministry to identify and secure new landing sites so that the service expands, not only to provide additional crossings between Lungi and Freetown, but also enabling a water taxi service between different landing stations around Freetown itself, providing a fast transit service to avoid traffic congestion. In addition, we will be looking to open up new routesnaround the coast and even to neighbouring countries.
“Sierra Leone has much to offer in terms of tourism – beautiful scenery, wonderful beaches and intriguing islands, with friendly and welcoming people. With the end of the Ebola crisis now in sight and with the right transport links, the tourism industry in Sierra Leone could flourish once again and we are keen to assist in this respect. We will therefore look to work with the government, with airlines, with hotels, travel agencies and businesses to identify new opportunities and develop new services. “In this respect I am also pleased to announce that Kenya Airways are recommencing daily flights to Sierra Leone this week which is great news and follows the pattern of increasing passenger numbers we have been seeing in 2015, with some 5,267 embarking passengers in May being the highest monthly total since August 2014 when the majority of airlines had ceased services. This bodes well not only for our new ferry service but also for our airport security operations.”
For further information please contact:
Westminster Group plc. Tel: 01295 756 300
Peter Fowler (Chief Executive)
Ian Selby (Chief Financial Officer)
S. P. Angel Corporate Finance LLP (NOMAD + Broker) Tel: 020 3470 0470
Stuart Gledhill/Katy Birkin
Walbrook PR (Financial PR) Tel: 020 7933 8780
Tom Cooper/Paul Vann 0797 122 1972