‘The fight will be worth it if our city’s voice is heard’ Aims of the frigates campaign as it drives forward

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SECURING all the Royal Navy’s new frigates in Portsmouth is a lofty ambition – particularly as nothing has yet been agreed, writes defence correspondent Tom Cotterill.

But if the jobs boom and economic benefits put forward by Portsmouth City Council leader today are to be believed, then it has to be worth getting behind her call.

The area has a proud maritime heritage dating back centuries, as one of the globe’s most powerful naval hubs.

And although the fleet of the Senior Service has been scaled back in recent years, it’s now on the rise.

With the two new aircraft carriers set to call it home, Portsmouth will have the most tonnage it has ever seen.

And with a hive of world-leading defence contractors, there is certainly an argument for keeping the ships close to those who might maintain them.

But more importantly, the new ships could bring with it a host of opportunity for small firms in the supply chain, not just the big international companies.

Whether the city will be able to secure all the frigates is yet to be seen – it will be a tough challenge.

But at least with today’s call, our voice and ambition will be heard and, perhaps, thought of when a decision is finally made.