Portsmouth shipyard decision not expected today

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HOPES are high a decision over Portsmouth’s shipyard will be made before the end of the year.

It was expected that nothing would come out of the chancellor’s Autumn Statement today about which business would be selected to take over the facility from BAE Systems.

As reported in The News, the defence giant revealed last year it was moving its shipbuilding operation to the Clyde in Scotland putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

But Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt says she remains ‘confident’ shipbuilding will return and an announcement was going to be imminent.

‘I know the work the shortlisted companies are in; and it’s shipbuilding,’ she said.

‘I am hoping we will have an announcement before Christmas.

‘I am confident we will be getting a good outcome for the city and we will retain shipbuilding.

‘That is the priority, and the prime minister could not have been clearer when he last came to Portsmouth that it has to be a shipbuilding solution.

‘Shipbuilding must stay on the map.’

A separate announcement is due to be made in the near future over Portsmouth’s bid to become the home of a new composite manufacturing site – which could bring hundreds of jobs to the area.