Shipyard bids show a ‘strong future’ for Portsmouth

Matthew Hancock
Matthew Hancock
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THREE bids from firms who want to take over the shipyard show a strong future for Portsmouth, according to the city’s minister.

Matthew Hancock, the minister for Portsmouth, said the government wants to take forward bids which will support highly-skilled jobs associated with shipbuilding.

It comes after The News revealed on Friday that the Ministry of Defence has selected three firms – BAE Systems, Burgess Marine and Magma Structures – to take on the now vacant shipbuilding halls in the naval base.

Mr Hancock said: ‘We know the importance of the shipyard to the city and that’s why the government is taking forward bids that will support highly-skilled jobs associated with shipbuilding.

‘Portsmouth continues to be a global leader in maritime manufacturing and marine engineering – with Ben Ainslie Racing already making the most of these skills, and these bids show there is a strong future for Portsmouth.’

Magma Structures, which builds free-standing rigs for large yachts, and Burgess Marine, which specialises in ship repair and construction, are strong contenders for the shiphalls.

And a bid by BAE Systems to transform the site into a centre of excellence for ‘mine warfare’ and repair of minesweeper vessels is also under serious consideration.

Should BAE’s bid be successful, it could lead to the company deciding to build minesweepers there.