UK-based manufacturer and outfitter MPE Interiors has completed three new contracts in the UK and Ireland to upgrade passenger ferries for Stena Line and P&O Ferries. Director Cliff Grainger said the contracts involved a range of furniture, soft furnishing and ceiling improvements on ferries at different shipyards. He said the projects highlight MPE’s broad range of skills and services to the ferry and wider maritime sectors on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Cliff Grainger of MPE interiors in front of one of the refurbished ferries

Cliff Grainger of MPE interiors in front of one of the refurbished ferries

The Liverpool city region firm’s core skills include joinery, polishing, spraying and upholstery work. It offers the complete maritime fit-out package including design, manufacturing, refurbishment, installation and maintenance of furniture, soft furnishings and upholstery.

“This trio of contracts further boosts our experience and track-record in the passenger ferry market,” said Mr Grainger. “We have a strong understanding of what our customers’ require in this niche market which enables us to maintain high standards of delivery.

“We have completed work on the Stena Horizon which operates between Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland and Cherbourg in France. This involved rebuilding and refurbishing more than 200 chairs, as well as upholstery work and curtains. Our specialist staff travelled from Merseyside to Rosslare to deliver the furniture and materials. This mobility and flexibility is a key selling point as it enables us to operate between our Merseyside manufacturing hub and vessels located in any shipyard in the UK or Ireland.”

MPE’s second ferry contract saw staff travelling to the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to work on the Stena Europe, which operates between Rosslare and Fishguard in Wales. This contract involved upholstering banquet seating.

Meanwhile, the third ferry contract involved the P&O Ferries Pride of York which was docked in north-east England. MPE travelled to the A&P Tyne shipyard in Hebburn where it replaced the ceiling of a crew mess room and refurbished an existing ceiling in a passenger area.

Mr Grainger said: “We see major growth potential in the ferry market, which continues to thrive around the UK shores. However, MPE is also targeting growth across the broader maritime sector. Our business benefits from broad experience working across many types of vessels, from ferries to superyachts, commercial and military ships.

Mr Grainger said the latest Stena Line contracts follow a two-year working relationship with the vessel operator. Past projects have involved designing, manufacturing and installing furniture and fittings for a freight lorry drivers’ lounge at Stena Line’s 12 Quays terminal in Birkenhead, serving the Liverpool-Belfast route.

The Mersey firm also completed an extensive refurbishment of two passenger decks on the Stena Adventurer, which operates between Holyhead and Dublin. Upgrades included installing new seating, creating a more spacious lounge and dining area with a media room and quiet area.

A further Stena contract saw MPE fit-out the crew and officers’ messes on the Stena Mersey and Stena Lagan ferries, which both operate between Liverpool and Belfast.

By Jake Frith