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Guernsey Harbours, a division of the Public Services Department of the States of Guernsey, is currently undergoing a review of its charges in line with objectives laid out in its 10-year business plan. The plan identifies that, in order to sustain existing services, arrest decline and responsibly plan for the future, it must increase the surplus it generates. As a self-funded organisation, Guernsey Harbours must generate sufficient surplus to finance both the operating expenditure and a Capital Investment Programme and is undergoing an assessment of its current pricing structure against market price levels and making adjustments to the level and structure of harbour fees. These changes are vital to the sustainability of services and Guernsey Harbours will be seeking the views of islanders, beginning 22 October 2014, to determine the most effective and fair course of action.

1. How much money is the whole improvement programme going to cost?
The total cost of the maintenance and repairs and improvements needed is just under £80 million over the next 10 years and there is £110 million allocated to build a hydrocarbon supply facility.

2. What is a hydrocarbon supply facility?
Community and economic life on Guernsey is dependent on the timely delivery of hydrocarbon fuels (petrol, diesel, kerosene, aviation fuel, heavy oil and LPG) for transport, heating and electricity and we need to provide a long-term solution that ensures this supply.  We require a facility that is reliable, robust and fit for the long-term. The funding for this project has been ring-fenced under the States capital works programme and will not be funded by Guernsey Harbours.

3. What are the urgent projects needed?
The Havelet Slip has once again received a battering from the recent change in weather and requires more permanent repairs. A full capital expenditure programme for the next 10 years is listed in our business plan. Some of these key projects include:

  • The St Peter Port harbour layout reconfiguration
  • A new passenger terminal and customs area
  • A new Port Signal Station
  • Upgrading the visitor shower and laundry facility blocks
  • Changing the layout of the marinas to reflect the changing size of boats being accommodated

4. What are Guernsey Harbours' overall operating costs?
Guernsey Harbours' operating costs were £7 million in 2013 with an annual surplus of £1m which is not enough to cover all the works necessary. New revenue streams need to be identified to fund the capital expenditure programme.

5. Which prices are going to rise?
We are seeking views from all islanders to make that decision. We have undergone a significant project to identify all charges made at the harbours and benchmark these against comparable ports such as Portsmouth, Jersey and Fowey in Cornwall. There are areas where we are charging below market pricing such as mooring fees, cruise liners and passengers and bulk cargo (see question 7, 8 and 9). Ultimately Guernsey Harbours is the responsibility of all islanders and we want your views when deciding where there may be opportunities to raise the funds necessary for capital expenditure.

6. How long will all this work take?
The programme is going to take place over 10 years and it is our aim to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum. St Peter Port and St Sampson's are working harbours and need to remain so for the benefit of Guernsey people, our commercial businesses and our visitors.

7. How much are you proposing increased charges for bulk cargo delivery at St Sampson's?
Bulk cargo in Guernsey is charged at £2.54 per tonne compared to £9.92 in Jersey and £12.22 in Southampton. Guernsey's charges are significantly below market pricing. We are asking the Bailiwick public for their views on whether bulk cargo charges should be increased.

8. What changes to local mooring charges are you proposing?
Guernsey Harbours in the biggest marina in the British Isles and charges per square foot where most comparable marinas charge per metre length. If converted to per metre length for comparison local moorings in Guernsey are charged at £165.31 per metre length per annum - the third cheapest of 56 comparable ports. Jersey is £340.35 and £575.00 in Poole. Any increases would be phased in over four years.

9. What do cruise liners and passengers pay now and what are Guernsey Harbours suggesting they should pay in the future?
In 2013, 113,380 cruise liner passengers were landed from 80 ships and these day visitors injected £5 million in to our economy. Cruise passengers are currently not charged for coming to Guernsey and there is a nominal anchorage fee for cruise ships. Jersey charges £4.88 per passenger. It is £7.53 in Portsmouth and £3.42 at Fowey in Cornwall.
10. Shouldn't we only be charged what it costs to provide the marinas?
A cost-based charging model is not the approach taken to date for the various dues and charges.  Taking a cost-based approach raises questions on how the services provided for slipways and the model yacht pond and public viewing areas and public realm areas, to mention a few, should be funded.  It is also important to recognise that Guernsey Harbours' services fundamentally rely on the same core harbours structure which also incurs costs to maintain.  

11. Why are you asking the public for their views?
We are seeking views from the public to #MyHarbours because the harbours belong to all islanders and provide services to all islanders either directly or indirectly.  Therefore we want all islanders to contribute to the feedback on where charge changes should be made to ensure the on-going provision of existing services, maintenance and improvement of Guernsey Harbours.

12. What if the public says they don't want any price rises?
The status quo is not an option; doing nothing will see further degradation of the harbours which will impact on all elements of Guernsey life. It is vital that we maintain and improve our harbours lifelines.

13. Are you taking more car parking away?
No. In fact we are working with other government departments to ensure that there is sufficient car parking for islanders and have allocated £4 million in our business plan for this purpose.

14. What happens now?
Guernsey Harbours is asking the public to contribute to the debate by taking part in the survey (LINK ) and/or coming to our drop in sessions at the passenger terminal on 1, 6, 11 November. After that we will be preparing our submission to the States of Guernsey and we anticipate our proposal will be heard in the March States meeting.

15. What's wrong with the passenger terminal we currently have?
The terminal was originally constructed as a freight shed in 1929. The building is in a poor state of repair and of poor construction. It is not fit for purpose and we have allocated capital expenditure to improve terminal facilities in the St Peter Port layout plan.

16. You want to spend £40 million on the St Peter Port layout, what is going to change?
We need to improve safety, security, traffic flow for passenger ferries and commercial operations and reconfigure the layout to ensure St Peter Port is welcoming, efficient and makes the best use of the space available for islanders and visitors.

17. How will these changes impact on Guernsey boat owners?
The Guernsey Harbours proposal details a change in charging from per square foot to metre length which will rationalise a complex charging structure and align us with other marinas in terms of how they charge. Boat owners are likely to see incremental increases in costs from 2016 to bring the charging in line with other marinas and, in time, boat owners will also see an improvement in facilities.

18. What will happen if you don't make this investment?
A crucial part of the 10 year plan is ensuring that all of the harbours infrastructure from the breakwater to the harbour walls, security, commercial operations, leisure pursuits and parking are fit for purpose. Without this investment the harbours will deteriorate threatening the essential services so vital to Guernsey life.

19. Are we in this situation because there is no money left in the pot because the costs of work at the airport took any additional surplus?
The Port Holding Account relates to both Guernsey Airport and Guernsey Harbours. The Guernsey Harbours' changes we are taking forward are based on re-investment in Guernsey Harbours and is not related to spend at the airport.

20. Is there any threat to the fishing community's livelihood?
We are seeking island wide views on where charge increases should be applied.  One scenario is based on a comparison for all charges to other jurisdictions and increases to align more closely to market based pricing, this approach is less likely to see increases for fishermen.  An alternative approach is uniform charge increase for all service over 4 years.

21. What revenue does visiting cruise liners bring to Guernsey?
Cruise liners generate £5 million in revenue every year to Guernsey. Right now Guernsey Harbours receives minimal income from cruise liner visits.

22. Will construction costs go up?
Building supplies come to Guernsey as containerised freight through St Peter Port and bulk cargo (sand, cement and stone) through St Sampson's.  An approach based on aligning charges to benchmarked levels with other jurisdictions would see charges for bulk increase at St Sampson's.  An alternative approach is for all charges on all services to increase year on year for four years.

23. How much is your #myharbours survey and campaign costing?
It is imperative that the Guernsey community understands what Guernsey Harbours needs to do so we have made an investment in a team of third party communications experts to ensure we reach as many people as possible and encourage the island community to give us their feedback and take part in the survey.

24. Is the £40m identified in the 10 year business plan to build a new passenger terminal?
No. The £40m in the business plan is for the reconfiguration of the St Peter Port layout to include improvements to traffic flow, security and safety as well as a new passenger terminal, relocation of customs facilities and provision for commercial outlets.

25. Why do we need a new Port Signal Station?
The Port Signal Station is similar to the Air Traffic Control Tower at the Airport. It houses the Port Signals Officers who manage vessel movements within the ports and mandatory pilotage zone. This function operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Port Signals Officers also monitor CCTV, Security systems, as well as control navigational aids and traffic signals. The Port Signal Station is fundamental for the safe, efficient and effective management of the harbours and surrounding waters.

26. What's happening to my mooring fees?
One of the scenarios under consideration is a move to market based pricing.  The table below gives examples of average monthly charge increases phased over 4 years and shows the range of monthly charge changes contributing to the average.  This table provides an indication only and charge changes to be put to the States will be reviewed and formulated following the myharbours engagement combined with benchmarking and research information.

 Average 2016 monthly charge increase (range)Average 2017 monthly charge increase (range)Average 2018 monthly charge increase (range)Average 2019 monthly charge increase (range)
<7 metres£10 (£0-£28)£15 (£5 - £17)£15 (£5- £17)£15 (£5 - £17)
7-10 metres£12 (£0 - £48)£20 (£17-£24)£20 (£17- £24)£20 (£17 - £24)
10 -13 metres£8 (£0- £48)£27 (£24- £31)£27 (£24-£31)£14 (£12 - £16)
13 metres +£70 (£34- £138)£0£0£0


27. What is the breakdown for Guernsey Harbours' revenue?

Guernsey Harbours revenue split



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Public documents related to the future of Guernsey Harbours

Guernsey Ports Master Plan

Guernsey Ports Master Plan

The framework for Guernsey Harbours over the next decade.

Guernsey Harbours Business Plan

Guernsey Harbours Business Plan

To sustain existing services, arrest decline and plan for the future.