Calls to build new £200 million polar ship in Hampshire

Daily Echo: Calls to build new £200 million polar ship in Hampshire Calls to build new £200 million polar ship in Hampshire

MPs have called for a new £200 million polar research ship to be built in Hampshire.

The plea to built it in Portsmouth comes after the city was hit by 900 job cuts last year when BAE axed its operations at the historic shipyard.

Last week, Chancellor George Osborne announced that the Government will fund the new vessel which will go towards replacing the UK's two current polar exploration ships, which are nearing the end of their lives.

The ship will have on-board laboratories and carry cutting-edge technology including robotic submarines and ''underwater gliders'' to gather data on marine biology and ocean conditions.

Now, Mike Hancock, independent MP for Portsmouth South, has written to Business Secretary Vince Cable asking him to ensure that the contract is awarded to the city.

He said: ''This represents a massive opportunity to right the wrongs that were inflicted on the people of Portsmouth through no fault of their own.

''Government and commercial decisions dealt a hard blow to the city and this new ship provides the perfect chance to rectify this situation.

''I understand EU regulations mean the Government will have to listen to bids from other countries who may wish to build the vessel.

''I would argue it is absolutely essential the Government does the right thing - build the vessel in the UK and put the Portsmouth dockyard and its workforce back into work and retain those shipbuilding skills before they are lost forever.''

Penny Mordaunt, Conservative MP for Portsmouth North, has asked for a meeting with the Chancellor about the proposal.

She said: ''This is a great opportunity. I have requested a meeting with the Chancellor about it, along with a number of other things to do with the dockyard.

''The timetable of this suits us well because they will be putting this out to tender now and the ship would be in its trials in 2018 - we are looking at moving very quickly on this.

''It is clearly the sort of ship that our local workforce is all about.''

Comments (4)

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12:09pm Wed 30 Apr 14

Portswood Pete says...

The BAE site at Portsmouth is simply not suitable for commercial shipbuilding, the buidings are too far apart, unlike VT at Woolston that had a purpose built outfitting shop next to the big top and jetty. Only a company like BAE could make a go of it there, where it is certain to make money from a government contract and that particular horse has already bolted. Without £200M to £300M of investment in the infrastructure of the yard shipbuilding in the Dockyard is a non starter, all these politicians know this but are just pandering to the local voters, notice how it's always "the people of Portsmouth" when, in reality, it's the people of Southampton who have been hardest hit bt this, most of us working at BAE are originally from VT.
The BAE site at Portsmouth is simply not suitable for commercial shipbuilding, the buidings are too far apart, unlike VT at Woolston that had a purpose built outfitting shop next to the big top and jetty. Only a company like BAE could make a go of it there, where it is certain to make money from a government contract and that particular horse has already bolted. Without £200M to £300M of investment in the infrastructure of the yard shipbuilding in the Dockyard is a non starter, all these politicians know this but are just pandering to the local voters, notice how it's always "the people of Portsmouth" when, in reality, it's the people of Southampton who have been hardest hit bt this, most of us working at BAE are originally from VT. Portswood Pete
  • Score: 5

2:24pm Wed 30 Apr 14

southy says...

Which Polar ships are they talking about, North or South
Which Polar ships are they talking about, North or South southy
  • Score: 0

3:55pm Wed 30 Apr 14

townieboy says...

This ship will be designed and built abroad. Ordered to a price and built on time. BAE would find it impossible to achieve this.
This ship will be designed and built abroad. Ordered to a price and built on time. BAE would find it impossible to achieve this. townieboy
  • Score: 3

5:36am Thu 1 May 14

skeptik says...

When ordering equipment governments like to tell that they strive to get the best value for the taxpayer. In a limited way that may sound true, over the years we have bought offshore and reduced our own skills base and industry - many of these well paid folk ended up in unskilled low pay work with assistance - income support, housing benefits etc. Politicians when asked why these cost are not figured in - not my department. One office trumpets a great deal while another down the corridors of power picks up the hidden costs on behalf of the taxpayer.
When ordering equipment governments like to tell that they strive to get the best value for the taxpayer. In a limited way that may sound true, over the years we have bought offshore and reduced our own skills base and industry - many of these well paid folk ended up in unskilled low pay work with assistance - income support, housing benefits etc. Politicians when asked why these cost are not figured in - not my department. One office trumpets a great deal while another down the corridors of power picks up the hidden costs on behalf of the taxpayer. skeptik
  • Score: 0

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