More than 100 engineering jobs have been secured at BAE Systems’ Portsmouth base after a £70m contract to support Type 45 destroyers.
The defence giant announced at the end of last year that it would end its shipbuilding operations in the south coast city in the second half of this year and move Navy shipbuilding to Scotland, with the loss of almost 1,000 jobs.
Michael Fallon was named as minister with special responsibility to support jobs and growth Portsmouth in January, as Prime Minister David Cameron sought to soften the impact on the local economy.
And now a two-and-a-half-year contract will protect around 100 highly skilled jobs at Portsmouth, the home port of the Royal Navy’s 6 Type 45 destroyers and future home of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, with further jobs also sustained in the company’s wider supply chain.
While shipbuilding operations have been moved north of the border, BAE announced at the time of the decision that an engineering team will be retained in Portsmouth to support the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 warships due to be built in Glasgow.
Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said: “This £70m contract is good news for Portsmouth. It will protect the skills of around 100 expert engineers and makes clear that the future of the city’s ship support industry is bright.
“Our Type 45 destroyers are the largest and most powerful the navy has ever had, featuring state-of-the-art equipment and weapons systems. It is essential that the ships receive top class support and Portsmouth has the skills needed to do this. There is no question that the shipyard will continue to play an important role in the city’s future.”