Barrow submarine deal secure 1,000 jobs

First published in Business The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

AROUND 1,000 jobs for South Lakeland and Furness workers have been secured after a huge investment was made in one of the region’s biggest employers.

BAE Systems, in Barrow, has been awarded a £328 million contract from the Ministry of Defence which placed an order for the first designs for the Vanguard replacement programme.

The Vanguard Class comprises four submarines – HMS Vanguard, HMS Victorious, HMS Vigilant and HMS Vengeance – all of which were built by workers at the Barrow shipyard from 1985 to 1999.

The new submarines have yet to be given an official name, though the programme is referred to as ‘Successor’ by those involved in it.

The first of the new class will be delivered in 2028 to provide the nation’s nuclear deterrent into the 2060s.

Managing director John Hudson said: “This contract is a key step forward in our business strategy to deliver a seven-boat Astute programme followed by the replacement class for the Vanguard submarines.

“Not only does it help sustain the jobs of over 1,000 skilled employees working on the programme, it also provides the opportunity to grow our workforce by a further 280 in 2012.”

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The remainder of the contract, which is worth around £350m in total, is split between the other industrial partners, Babcock and Rolls-Royce, to cover design aspects of in-service support and the submarine’s reactor design.

Harry Knowles, chief executive of Furness Enterprise, said: “It is absolutely vital that we continue to develop nuclear submarine building skills and the best way of doing this is to ensure that we have got orders for the future.”

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said it was good news but questioned how long it had taken. He said: “This important and overdue staging post will be warmly welcomed in the yard but underlines the government's folly in delaying the overall programme and postponing the main vote on whether to go ahead until after the election.”

Comments (2)

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10:23am Thu 24 May 12

Ben Berry says...

BARROW MP John Woodcock has criticised his Lake District counterpart for claiming to have “kicked Trident into the long grass”.

In his column in The Guardian newspaper yesterday(9/3), Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said his party had “fought like tigers to win tax cuts for the poor, to protect our NHS, to green our economy, to kick Trident into the long grass, to remain at the heart of Europe and to reform our democracy”.

Trident is the UK’s missile-based nuclear weapons programme and includes 200 nuclear warheads on the Barrow-built Vanguard-class submarines. Barrow shipyard is designing the Successor fleet of submarines which will replace the four Vanguard subs.

Mr Woodcock responded: “Families uncertain of their future will be dismayed to hear a local MP boasting that he and his fellow MPs ‘fought like tigers’ to put thousands of jobs in South Cumbria at risk. The government’s decision to ‘kick Trident into the long grass’ has increased costs for taxpayers and put a question mark over the economic future of the region.

“Instead of patting himself on the back, Tim Farron should come here and explain to workers in Barrow shipyard and its extensive supply chain why he is so proud his Conservative-led government has put their long-term future at risk.”
BARROW MP John Woodcock has criticised his Lake District counterpart for claiming to have “kicked Trident into the long grass”. In his column in The Guardian newspaper yesterday(9/3), Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said his party had “fought like tigers to win tax cuts for the poor, to protect our NHS, to green our economy, to kick Trident into the long grass, to remain at the heart of Europe and to reform our democracy”. Trident is the UK’s missile-based nuclear weapons programme and includes 200 nuclear warheads on the Barrow-built Vanguard-class submarines. Barrow shipyard is designing the Successor fleet of submarines which will replace the four Vanguard subs. Mr Woodcock responded: “Families uncertain of their future will be dismayed to hear a local MP boasting that he and his fellow MPs ‘fought like tigers’ to put thousands of jobs in South Cumbria at risk. The government’s decision to ‘kick Trident into the long grass’ has increased costs for taxpayers and put a question mark over the economic future of the region. “Instead of patting himself on the back, Tim Farron should come here and explain to workers in Barrow shipyard and its extensive supply chain why he is so proud his Conservative-led government has put their long-term future at risk.” Ben Berry
  • Score: 0

9:46am Mon 28 May 12

Blogtrotter says...

It's an utter disgrace that a Cumbrian MP is happy to jeopardise thousands of jobs in the county.
Strange how he links himself to just about any story in the gazette no matter how tenuous, but he isn't given a mention here?
Maybe SLDC leader Peter Thornton would like to comment instead on how the Liberal Democrat policy to abolish Trident is consistent with his plans for mass housebuilding in South Lakes?
Surely less jobs equals less demand for housing, particularly when many of the professionals at Barrow choose to live in the South Lakes area?
It's an utter disgrace that a Cumbrian MP is happy to jeopardise thousands of jobs in the county. Strange how he links himself to just about any story in the gazette no matter how tenuous, but he isn't given a mention here? Maybe SLDC leader Peter Thornton would like to comment instead on how the Liberal Democrat policy to abolish Trident is consistent with his plans for mass housebuilding in South Lakes? Surely less jobs equals less demand for housing, particularly when many of the professionals at Barrow choose to live in the South Lakes area? Blogtrotter
  • Score: 0

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