Union GMB’s campaign to save Appledore was backed in the House of Lords as a possible buyer emerged for the shipyard.
The yard has built almost 200 ships since the Spanish Armada and is absolutely crucial to the South West economy and British shipbuilding, say GMB.
Labour peer Lord Berkeley praised GMB’s campaign as he revealed a potential route to save the yard.
Lord Berkeley, Labour peer, said:
“I met one operator this week called Oil, Gas and Marine Ltd who are very interested in taking over the yard…I know they’re in discussions with Babcock and the owner about the assets and the staff. They claim to be able to finance the start-up providing that they receive orders
So my lords – there’s hope there.”
As things stand, 200 people are set to lose their jobs when the yard closes in March 2019.
GMB and sister union Unite staged a mass rally to save the shipyard and handed in a nearly 10,000 petition to the Ministry of Defence and Babcock just this week calling on them to save this shipyard which is vital to both the local community and UK shipbuilding.
Ross Murdoch, GMB National Officer and Chair or CSEU Maritime, said:
“If this is a real opportunity to keep our famous shipyard open then we should grab it with both hands. We need all stakeholders to go the extra miles to make it happen .
“This famous old yard has built almost 200 ships since the Spanish Armada and is absolutely crucial to the South West economy and UK shipbuilding. We cannot allow it close.”