Full effects of closure Portsmouth shipyard are unclear

FEDERATION Caroline Collings
FEDERATION Caroline Collings
Defence correspondent om Cotterill on the jet simulator

The News defence correspondent ‘lands’ jet on HMS Queen Elizabeth

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THE full effects of ship building leaving Portsmouth are not going to be felt ‘for weeks’, as small and medium-sized businesses in BAE Systems’ supply chain take stock.

As reported yesterday, the so-called ‘ripple effect’ of shipbuilding ceasing in Portsmouth will be felt widely, despite ship maintenance and service work remaining at the naval base.

Precision engineering and manufacturing businesses in the area are reluctant to speak out about the closure, as its effects remain unclear not only on their bottom lines but also on how their staffing levels will be affected.

Caroline Collings, chairwoman of the Federation of Small Businesses in Portsmouth, said: ‘We haven’t been able to quantify how much our members have been affected or how much by, as that information will come through in the coming weeks.

‘We will be looking into funding options and how people can be compensated, and to find ways to move this business forward from this point.

‘We’re always very concerned when the supply chain is affected at this level, and we saw a similar thing with Ford in Southampton, when strategic industry is affected.

‘It’s not just about the existing pots of money, but there should be some new money made available for circumstances such as this.’