A SENIOR dockyard worker has said there is ‘mild panic’ over a scramble to get the city ready for HMS Queen Elizabeth’s arrival.
The source, who has worked at Portsmouth Naval Base for more than a decade, said staff had been warned to be ready for the carrier’s possible arrival on or around August 18.
But the insider claimed an extra workforce of 200 people would need to be hired to carry out any maintenance work.
The source said: ‘There’s mild panic here right now.
‘If you think back to Type 45s first came here, lots and lots of Scottish workers came down with them for this work.
‘We have been told that Scottish workers won’t be coming this time as they are tied up with the other carrier and the Type 26.’
But despite the ‘mild’ concern, the insider said the mood on the dockyard was optimistic, adding: ‘People are fairly pleased by it. We have waited a fair while for it and there have been peaks and troughs in work. So I think they’re fairly relieved.’
The naval base is ready for the carrier to arrive, having had more than £100m pumped into upgrading the site. As part of this work, power systems have been overhauled and the harbour has been deepened.