Grow shipbuilding in key areas
Last updated: 08:43pm 11 December 2019
Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.21
We want to see shipbuilding growing on the Clyde and on the Forth, in Belfast and in Barrow, and in the north-east and south of England.
The shipbuilding industry is worth “at least at least £1.5 billion annually to the UK economy, and it supports up to 25,000 UK jobs”. This policy is a pledge to grow shipbuilding around the UK.
In September 2017, the Ministry of Defence published the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSbS), adopting the recommendations from the 2016 Sir John Parker report. The strategy laid out a 30-year “masterplan” for the Navy’s ships and boats, identifying when decisions need to be taken for future purchases.
A January 2018 update on the strategy said:
“The Government signed a contract with BAE Systems for…three Type 26 frigates in summer 2017. They are to be built on the Clyde.”
In 2019, Sir John Parker was asked to review progress on implementation of the NSbS. His overall judgement was that progress is “encouraging”, but he expressed concern around UK yards having to compete against international competitors when bidding to build Navy vessels:
“I recommend that UK-only competition should be considered for future defence-funded vessels…”
Overall, despite encouraging signs from the implementation of the NSbS, with shipyard closures and ongoing uncertainty around procurement processes, this policy remains ‘in progress’.
Build a watertight argument – get the facts!
- UK National Shipbuilding Strategy: an independent report – Gov.uk
- National Shipbuilding Strategy: The Future of Naval Shipbuilding in the UK – Gov.uk
- The National Shipbuilding Strategy: January 2018 update – Parliament.uk
- Review of the Implementation of the National Shipbuilding Strategy – Gov.uk
- Naval shipbuilding: September 2019 update – Parliament.uk
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