Princess: 'We're not afraid of Brexit'
by Miranda Blazeby
The looming threat of Brexit to British business has been swatted aside by Princess Yachts executive chairman Antony Sheriff. Speaking this month at the Miami Yacht Show, Sheriff pledged not to relocate the Plymouth-based luxury superyacht brand from Devon, insisting “we’re not afraid of Brexit”.
The success of Princess lies in its British roots and commitment to authentic craftsmanship, he said. “We don’t want to, and we won’t, move out of the UK or start outsourcing because it actually doesn’t work for us. We’re very committed to the UK, we’re very committed to Devon and we’re very committed to Plymouth and so we will keep it that way.”
He went on to describe Princess as “the most authentic of British luxury brands” due to its commitment to craftsmanship. “When you buy a Princess you really do get everything made by hand. Everything that you see and touch is made by us and our craftspeople in Plymouth.”
He pointed to Princess’s increasing workforce, which last year saw the total employee count grow by 850 to over 3,200, as evidence of its faith in the quality of the British labour market.
“In terms of employment, we’re now larger than Aston Martin, we’re larger than Maclaren, we’re larger than Rolls-Royce motorcars so when you think of the quintessential British luxury brands, we’re actually the largest with employment as a metric,” he said.
He also revealed that Princess has teamed up with Plymouth City College to launch a carpentry academy intent on training up the next generation of skilled craftspeople. The academy will take on 14 apprentices each cycle and develop their skills in raw woodwork and carpentry skills.
Speaking about the academy, Princess marketing director Kiran Jay Haslam said, “We’re looking towards the future and this is probably a really strong indicator of the kind of growth we’re expecting.”