Minister for Portsmouth says Government is helping city’s economy

Michael Fallon
Michael Fallon
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Steps are being taken to improve Portsmouth’s maritime economy.

That is the view of Michael Fallon, the minister appointed for the city, following the announcement that the marine arm of Rolls-Royce plans to close its Cosham site by the end of the year.

As reported, the company, which makes electrical components for naval vessels, blames a decrease in work, and competition in the global market for its proposal, which would lead to 33 job losses.

Mr Fallon, who was appointed to the minister role to help support the city’s economy in the wake of plans to close Portsmouth’s shipyard, reminded people of the financial deals that have been put in place to ensure the future is bright.

He told The News: ‘Portsmouth has faced tough times, but the government is taking action to support the local economy. Millions of pounds from the Regional Growth Fund is enabling companies to grow and create jobs.

‘And we’ve agreed a City Deal to bring thousands of new jobs. I know how important marine and maritime is to Portsmouth.’

Mr Fallon also wants a prospectus to be drawn up for businesses interested in pursuing commercial shipbuilding to ensure they have all the information they need.

‘These are just some of the steps being taken, but I know there is still much more to do to help local leaders and businesses seize the opportunities that exist,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt will meet Rolls-Royce Marine on Monday.

As reported, she believes the workforce could be protected because of future work at the city’s shipyard.

She said: ‘I want to hear their plans in light of what is happening with the yard.’

Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock, who is in hospital being treated for ill health, said: ‘Following the shipbuilding job losses at the dockyard last year, this is a bitter pill to swallow for the workers at Rolls-Royce and their families.’

His office has written to the government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills urging intervention.