The Jubilee Sailing Trust (Tenacious) Limited (JST(T)L), the company that owns and operates the tall ship S.V. Tenacious, has been forced to close. Receivers will now be appointed.
The Jubilee Sailing Trust group, which includes the company JST(T)L and the charity Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST), has been facing financial difficulty for several years due to the high costs associated with running two tall ships and trying to reach new communities.
The last four years have seen two large-scale funding appeals, refinancing, several restructures, and a reduction in fleet size to one ship – and Covid.
The company says internal and external consultation has been carried out to try to attract different funding models, however most of these have been heavily reliant on fundraising or trying to attract partners willing to pay full price to charter the ship.
For the last 15 months the company has tried a funding strategy that was more reliant on income from our voyage crew paying for around 75-80% of the cost of a voyage (or using bursary funding secured for this purpose).
However, neither the voyage sales or fundraising efforts have been successful in meeting the c.£150,000 a month that is needed to operate Tenacious and keep her legally compliant to deliver voyages.
There is also a historic debt of around £477,000 that cannot be repaid.
Tenacious had been due to go into dry dock for regulatory checks before setting sail for the Trust’s winter voyage programme early in 2024, however with no funds available, this has now been cancelled.
“Unfortunately, as we are now without identified income to meet our imminent expenditure in December (including the wages of our crew and shore-based team) we no longer have the time to pursue other financing options, nor a public fundraising appeal, and our legal advisors view closure as the only option available,” said a Trust statement.
“Tenacious and all assets owned by JST(T)L will pass into the hands of the Official Receiver, appointed by the court. All staff (ship and shore) are employed by the JST(T)L company and as such will no longer be in post.”
The statement continued: “Although this situation is immensely upsetting for all involved, we hope that you can be proud of all that you, our supporters, have helped to achieve with both Lord Nelson and Tenacious since their launch.”
The JST charity, which is a separate entity to the JST(T)L company, is to be reviewed by the Charity Commission as to whether it will be able to continue.
The Trust points out that the charity’s Deed of Trust does not restrict operations to only include tall ships, which may mean it could operate in a different manner in the future and a decision will be made on this by the Charity Commission.