The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group has appointed islander Andrew Walder to its Board of Directors.

Andrew, who lives on St Martin’s and runs his own business SC Dogs Distillery as part of the family farm, becomes the third island-based non-executive board member currently serving.

With 15 years’ experience in the Merchant Navy, and time spent on Scillonian III, Lyonesse Lady and Swift Lady, Andrew’s maritime knowledge of the area and the challenges it provides is extensive.

Like many islanders, life is multi faceted and Andrew also manages the farm and holiday accommodation on St Martin’s with his wife Hannah; operates a fishing boat with his father Steve and produces sea salt by solar evaporation.

Andrew said: “As with many people here on the islands, making a living requires a number of hats to be worn. The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group’s services facilitate the success of all of the businesses I operate, and having a dependable and coordinated passenger and freight service that has the proven ability to deliver for Scilly is crucial to the local economy.

“I feel I have a very good understanding of the maritime side of operations with in-depth insight into the inner workings of how the islands operate. I have a significant understanding of running businesses on the islands, knowledge which I’ll bring to the board in order to see the company move forward at this exciting time for Scilly.”

Andrew will also be chairing a new-look Steamship Advisory Board, which will consist of six members who will meet quarterly. These are new positions and the Steamship Group is now seeking expressions of interest.

By joining the board, community members will have the opportunity to input into decision-making processes as well as reflecting on the experiences of customers of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group.

The decision to appoint an additional island-based non-executive director comes as the Steamship Group embarks on an ambitious project to build two new vessels to service the Isles of Scilly in the years ahead.

Ian Howard, Chairman of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, said: “My colleagues and I warmly welcome Andrew to the Board and look forward to him contributing towards our mission to deliver for Scilly.

“This is a significant and exciting time in the Group’s history and Andrew’s wealth of experience both in the maritime world and as an islander will be of immense value to the Board.”

Andrew’s appointment means the Steamship Group has a board of nine directors; two executive directors and seven non-executive directors.