THE man who brought shipbuilding back to Portsmouth says BAE Systems would be making a ‘terrible mistake’ if they shut down the city’s shipyard.
Former head of Vosper Thornycroft Martin Jay has spoken out about the future of the site in Portsmouth.
He said: ‘I think it would be terribly sad and I also happen to think it would be a big mistake.
‘I accept that there may be reasons why the total capacity of warship building in the UK may have to reduce but there are basically three yards that BAE Systems could either close or reduce in size.
‘The great thing about the Portsmouth facility is that it is a wonderfully modern and efficient facility. It was only built between the late 90s and about 2003 when it opened.
‘It’s one of the most modern and efficient warship building facilities in the world.
‘It has the capability both to design and build warships. It has an absolutely excellent workforce.
‘It has this crucial backing that Vosper Thornycroft, or the VT Group as it then became called which was then of course taken over by BAE Systems, has this tremendous export record. During the last 30 years I think it sold 300 warships to 30 nations around the world.
‘That’s a tremendous pedigree for any yard and I think to lose all that by closing it would be a great tragedy.’