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Penlee RNLI share progress and next steps towards the new lifeboat station

Lifeboats News Release

Since being granted planning permission in September 2017 to build a new lifeboat station in Newlyn Harbour, the RNLI and their design team have been finalising the specification for the new building and progressing towards the start of construction.

RNLI/Studio Four Architects Ltd

3D image of proposed new lifeboat station for Penlee RNLI

The build process will include provision of a temporary lifeboat station adjacent to the old inshore lifeboat building at the southern end of the Newlyn Harbour car park. The temporary station will be installed during March, and the volunteer crew will gradually decant into this facility during April. They will operate from here throughout the build, ensuring that Penlee RNLI’s lifeboat operations will be unaffected.

Chris Refoy, RNLI Chief Engineer says much of the timescale for the build is dependent on the diversion of a sewer under the footprint of the proposed building. He says;

‘There is a large overflow sewer, which runs under the car park and discharges into the harbour. This sits underneath the footprint of the proposed building and an application has been submitted to South West Water to gain permission for a diversion. We hope that the sewer diversion will happen in May 2018. If that occurs, construction of the new lifeboat station building will be able to commence in June 2018 and is expected to be completed and become fully operational during in Spring 2019. This timescale requires the sewer diversion to proceed smoothly.’

Notes to editors

  • Please find attached a 3D image of the proposed new Penlee Lifeboat Station credit Studio Four Architects Ltd

  • The current Penlee RNLI lifeboat station at Newlyn. Please credit RNLI/Penlee
  • The proposed new station will house a larger crew/operational room, training room, changing room and workshop, along with a visitor engagement area.
  • The contemporary two-storey building will be located on the same site as the existing station.
  • Penlee’s current lifeboat station in Newlyn was built in 1983 as a temporary measure but unfortunately, 34 years on, it is no longer fit for purpose. With approximately 25 volunteer crew and additional shore crew as well as fundraisers using the building, there is an urgent need for more space.
RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Amy Caldwell, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 07920 818807 or or Elaine Trethowan, Penlee RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer on 07704669406 or


Current Penlee RNLI lifeboat station

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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