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Defence secretary visits resurgent Cammell Laird

posted on January 8, 2009 categories Corporate News

Resurgent Merseyside shipyard Cammell Laird today welcomed defence secretary John Hutton for a tour of the business.

Mr Hutton, who was on Merseyside for a meeting of the cabinet, met with Cammell Laird management who were able to explain how the shipyard has transformed itself over the last seven years.
Cammell Laird chief executive John Syvret told Mr Hutton of the huge importance of Ministry of Defence (MOD) work to the shipyard. In June 2008 the shipyard signed a deal with the MOD for the throughlife support of 11 ships in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). The five year rolling contract is estimated to run for 30 years and could be worth up to a £1bn.

“It was tremendous to show Mr Hutton the calibre of military refit work we are doing,” he said. “Mr Hutton toured the RFA Fort Rosalie which is coming to the end of a massive £28m refit. But critically our deal with the MOD has given us certainty. With that certainty of work we have been able to bring back the Cammell Laird name in November and we are providing many skilled jobs to the area – which Mr Hutton was delighted to hear. Cammell Laird has made a huge contribution to the local economy and last year more than 1000 people were employed at the yard. Moreover we were able to show Mr Hutton our apprentices training school and explain how our apprenticeship scheme is now back training 48 young people.”

Mr Hutton said Cammell Laird was a strategic partner for the MOD in maintaining the RFA fleet.

“The RFA cluster contract will help sustain hundreds of jobs on Merseyside,” he said. “Cammell Laird has done an outstanding job on Fort Rosalie and we are looking forward to seeing her back in service because she is such a capable ship”

Mr Syvret said he told Mr Hutton that the shipyard, has bright ambitions for the future. It has a 50-50 split of commercial and MOD work and is now looking to grow further into the international ship building, refit, repair and conversion market.