The RNLI plans to start building and maintaining all its all-weather lifeboats in a new £11.2mn complex next to its headquarters at Poole.
Designs for the facility, to be built on RNLI land adjacent to Holes Bay and next to the RNLI College, will be submitted to Poole Council as soon as the details are finalised. The facility will create 90 jobs.
The project would save the RNLI £3.7mn every year and is expected to pay for itself in less than 10 years.
RNLI chief executive Paul Boissier said: “I’ve been leading a continuous improvement programme for the last two years. We’ve made significant efficiency savings, some of which can now be used to allow us to build our own lifeboats – we’d be our own customer and we have a watertight order book.
“We’ve been successfully producing our own inshore lifeboats at an RNLI facility on the Isle of Wight for decades, and we have no plans to change this. “To pay for the new facility, we would use £6.2mn of our efficiency savings and aim to fundraise for the remaining £5mn through trusts and corporate partnerships.”
It is hoped work would start on the project next year with the first phase of operations beginning by the spring of 2014. The first phase includes all-weather lifeboat refit and overhaul, with all-weather lifeboat hull and deck moulding moving from RNLI SAR Composites at Lymington by 2019.