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Government Minister tours Cammell Laird

MINISTER for Defence Equipment Support and Technology Philip Dunne MP visited Cammell Laird recently, ahead of giving a keynote address at the opening of the Underwater Defence Technology Conference and Exhibition in Liverpool.

He was welcomed to the yard by Chief Executive John Syvret CBE and Managing Ditector Linton Roberts before being taken round to see at first-hand the good progress being made on a wide range of both military and commercial projects.

He saw the progress being made on the centre block modules being built for the second aircraft carrier Prince of Wales in the Construction Hall and in Bays 9 and 10 he saw the modules and casings for the Astute Class submarines under construction.

Following a visit to the new integrated test facility for Sellafield he saw the work being undertaken by the company on the Gwynt Y Mor wind turbine project.

He was made aware of the technical innovation that has resulted in some £30m of savings on the RFA Clusters Contract and that the company has a capable in house technical design team. He noted with interest the extent and complexity of the refit project for RFA Fort Victoria in No 5 Dock and the progress being made on RFA Orangeleaf’s refit period in the Wet Basin, where maintenance work is also being carried out on the offshore jack-up rig Sea Pioneer.

Talks included the export business and the recent completion of the lengthening of “Nexans Skagerrak”, a cable layer for Nexans the French cable manufacturer.

Finally the guest visited the training school where he met 22 of the yard’s 120 apprentices.

Mr Dunne, said: “I was pleased to see for myself the vital contribution that the Cammell Laird workforce is making to strategically important Ministry of Defence programmes such as the QE Class Carriers and Astute submarines.

“It was good to see the RFA Fort Victoria and RFA Orangeleaf alongside, both of which are undergoing refit work as part of the through life support cluster contract.

“I was particularly encouraged to see the yard’s commitment to its apprentices who form a crucial part of this highly skilled and well motivated work force. The investment in these young men and women will ensure that for decades to come ships and boats will continue to be expertly built and maintained in the UK.”