MINISTER for Portsmouth Michael Fallon says there are many new and exciting opportunities to come for Portsmouth, despite the end of shipbuilding.
Mr Fallon, who is also one of the government’s business ministers, said he felt pride at yesterday’s naming ceremony for HMS Queen Elizabeth.
‘Portsmouth can be so proud of the parts of the carrier made in the city and that the ship is on her way to Portsmouth,’ he said.
‘This carrier will be a huge part of the landscape in the city. It is going to be a huge part of Portsmouth’s business.
‘It will provide huge opportunities for business and for the servicing of it all.
‘It will have a 50-year life so she is going to be a very important part of the local economy.
‘Portsmouth is the home of the Royal Navy. There are ships in Plymouth but Portsmouth is the proper home of the navy and we can be very proud knowing now the carrier is finally on her way.’
Asked about shipyard workers who will be leaving the shipyard later this year, he said: ‘There should be pride in it being built, in part, in the city.
‘We have not yet closed the shipyard and we are still receiving expressions of interest in it. We have had 12 people come forward and three or four look very promising.
‘There has been a lot of interest in the ship hall and hopefully we can save some of those skills.’