PORTSMOUTH North MP Penny Mordaunt has spoken of her support for the organisation that wants to take over the BAE shipbuilding yard.
Portsmouth Shipbuilding, which is made up of defence consultants Stanton Burdett, and Portsmouth cultural collective, Strong Island, is hoping to take on the contract for one Offshore Patrol Vessell (OPV) while it is builds up it’s order book, keeping shipbuilding alive in the city.
The group met with Ms Mordaunt on Monday, in Westminster, and she put forward the plan to Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond. Last night she met with Rear Admiral Rob Stephens to discuss the plans
She said: ‘We’ve had an enormous number of enquiries from people who want to come here, who want to use our excellent workforce. We’ve got a great facility, quite an unusual facility in its size, sitting there, soon to be vacant.
‘So I’m very confident and I’m really optimistic that we will be able to retain shipbuilding in Portsmouth.’
She added: ‘What we have got to do is a lot of hard work, the nitty gritty of making all that happen.
‘Working out quickly what those overheads are going to be for those businesses so they can put those plans together. Getting local authorities to maybe do some things to insentivise companies to come here. We’ve got all the beans and the ingredients there in a row, we’ve got to make it happen. I’m optimistic about the future.’