While touring the Merseyside facilities late last week of Cammell Laird, Britain’s biggest shipyard, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to secure the long-term future of shipbuilding in the UK. Accompanied by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, he said the government has lined up US$5.2 billion in funding to deliver more than 150 naval and civil vessels over the next 30 years under the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh.
The UK government stressed that the strategy will also build upon the nation’s “increased support for European defence capability in the face of rising Russian aggression.” In this regard, Poland has contracted with Babcock to deliver three new warships.
Mike Hill, Managing Director, Cammell Laird said: “Cammell Laird was delighted to welcome both the Prime Minister and Defence Secretary at our facility and to provide an iconic backdrop for this historic announcement today.
“Cammell Laird has completed some of the most ambitious shipbuilding and block build projects in modern times, from the block build of the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers, the Astute and Dreadnought class submarines to the recent construction of the RRS Sir David Attenborough.
In addition to the construction of the RRS Sir David Attenborough, Cammell Laird has delivered a range of specialised vessels including RoRo and RoPax ferries for Red Funnel, Western Ferries and Strangford Ferries.
David McGinley, Chief Executive Officer, Cammell Laird Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders Ltd, said he welcomed the refresh on the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
Mr McGinley said: “Today’s National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh comes at a critical time for British shipyards and the wider supply chain.“A more continuous pipeline and transparency from the UK Government on NSBS will ensure continuity and a welcome end to the stop start nature of UK shipbuilding. This will arm the UK’s shipbuilding enterprise with the confidence to upskill their workforce and invest in their capabilities and new technology.”
All told, the UK shipbuilding sector supports 42,600 jobs.
(Photo shows Boris Johnson with Mike Hill of Cammell Laird)