Eight directors at the Isle of Wight ferry company Red Funnel have resigned as part of a plan to replace the operator's “ageing vehicle ferries.”

In what Red Funnel describes as a ‘review’ of its board structures and memberships, some if its directors resigned on February 28.

A spokesperson told the Isle of Wight County Press the recent change was in support of its “fleet replacement programme.”

“Red Funnel, like most companies, periodically reviews its board structures and memberships, and the recent change is in support of our fleet replacement programme," they said.

“We are keen to replace our ageing vehicle ferries to ensure we continue to provide our essential lifeline services for decades to come and to support residents and visitors alike with modern, greener and more customer-friendly ships.”

The County Press asked Red Funnel to tell us more about the timeline, but the company said it is not currently ready to talk about key milestones.

Who are the directors who have resigned from Red Funnel?

Advisor Pierre-Frederick Robert, appointed at Red Funnel in July 2020, is the senior principal of infrastructure at the Canadian-based Investment Management Corporation of Ontario.

Matthew John Hammond, a long-term partner at two other British companies, was appointed director in November 2020.

Canadian Advisor Kelly John Marshall was appointed as a director in March 2021.

Company director George Christopher Gray, who is the current director of Ipswich-based scrap yard and waste management company Sackers, was appointed director at Red Funnel in December 2017.

Charles John Gore Hazelwood, a chartered accountant, was appointed director in June 2017. Hazelwood serves as director at multiple British companies.

Dauren Dayembayev, appointed in September 2023, also resigned as director from Red Funnel’s sister companies, Hythe and Southampton Ferry, Falcon Acquisitions and Southampton, IW and South of England Royal Mail Stream Packet.

Ceri Richards, who was appointed as director in December 2017.

Investment manager Edward Arthur Wilson was appointed in June 2017 and is director at a handful of other British companies.

Four directors remain at Red Funnel, which carries passengers across the Solent between Southampton and both East Cowes and Cowes.

Those who remain are CEO Fran Collins, who was appointed in June 2018.

She also director at Saga Cruises, the IW Chamber of Commerce and IW Holidays Ltd, among others.

Iain James Delaney was recently appointed, in September 2023, and is also director of Captiva Homes and the Bembridge-based West Acre Park Management Company.

Non-executive director Stephen Blakeney Ridgway is involved as director at several other of Red Funnel’s sister companies and was appointed at Red Funnel in July 2021.

Erik Jorgen Ostergaard was appointed in July 2021. Ostergaard is chairman of Associated Danish Ports and is a member of the Dover Harbour Board. By royal decree, Ostergaard was appointed honorary consul for the Republic of Seychelles in Copenhagen in May 2023.

The County Press asked Red Funnel to provide a statement on rumours that it could be changing hands. In response, it said it would not 'comment on speculation.