Shipbuilding will provide boost to Portsmouth’s economy, expert says

HMS Queen Elizabeth
HMS Queen Elizabeth
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Bringing shipbuilding work to Portsmouth could provide a boost to the city’s economy and potentially create thousands of new jobs, an industry expert has said.

A new report has suggested that shipbuilding in the UK should be shared among companies and cities so shipyards can win work and create jobs.

‘The Royal Navy can act as an attraction for other sophisticated activities.’

Dr Michael Asteris

Dr Michael Asteris, from University of Portsmouth’s department of economics, said shipbuilding could act as an ‘attraction’ for other companies and industries to come to the city.

Portsmouth lost its shipbuilding in 2013, putting thousands of employees out of work, but union bosses and MPs have called for the industry to return to the city.

Dr Asteris said: ‘The Royal Navy can act as an attraction for other sophisticated activities. We used to have the single largest industrial complex in the world.’

He warned though that Portsmouth faced strong competition for shipbuilding, and that the government needed to consider its budgets before committing to spreading out the work across the country.

According to Dr Asteris, at the peak of shipbuilding in the Portsmouth area more than 4,000 people were employed to carry out the work.

He said: ‘To have that many jobs again would be marvellous.’

The report, headed by Sir John Parker, found the procurement of naval ships takes too long from concept to delivery compared with other industries.