Government announces an Anglo-Spanish consortium will build Naval support ships, as part of a £1.6 billion contract, which will see shipbuilding return to Belfast.
Shipbuilding is set to return to Belfast, after the Government announced an Anglo-Spanish consortium as the preferred bidder to construct three new Naval support ships.
The £1.6 billion contract will create 1,200 shipyard jobs and a further 800 jobs in the UK supply chain.
British-led ‘Team Resolute’, a consortium including BMT, Harland & Wolff and Spanish owned Navantia UK, has been chosen as the preferred bidder to deliver the three large supply ships, which are designed to carry ammunition and other stores and provisions for the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates.
Harland & Wolff's shipyard at Belfast Port in Northern Ireland. Liam McBurney
The deal, which is still subject Treasury approval, pledges that the entire final assembly for all three ships will be completed at Harland & Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast.
The three 216-metre-long vessels – each the length of two Premier League football pitches – have been designed by Bath-based BMT’s entirely British design.
The consortium has promised to invest £77 million in shipyard infrastructure to support the British shipbuilding sector, and say they aim to create one of the most advanced yards in the UK.
Under the contract, the majority of the blocks and modules for the ships would be constructed at Harland & Wolff’s facilities in Belfast and Appledore, with components to be manufactured in their other delivery centres in Methil and Arnish.
Some build work would also take place at Navantia’s shipyard in Cadiz in Spain.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace PA
The Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “This news will be a significant boost to the UK shipbuilding industry. By selecting Team Resolute, the Ministry of Defence has chosen a proposal which includes £77 million of investment into the UK shipyards, creating around 2,000 UK jobs, and showcasing cutting-edge British design.
“Building on ambitions laid out in the National Shipbuilding Strategy, this contract will bolster technology transfer and key skills from a world-renowned shipbuilder, crucial in the modernisation of British shipyards.”
The announced on the contract to provide new supply ships comes just a day after the Government confirmed that a further 5 Type26 Frigates would on at Govan on the Clyde, in contract worth £4.2 billion.