North East Jobs Secured As Part Of £1bn Deal To Support Navy Operations
Tyneside company UK Docks Ltd has been awarded a multi-million-pound contract to support the UK’s Royal Navy ships, securing around 150 jobs in the area.
Defence Minister Stuart Andrew announced that the contract worth an expected £150 million will support the survey ships HMS Echo and Enterprise along with the ice patrol ship HMS Protector.
These contracts form part of a wider £1bn deal that will secure hundreds of jobs at shipyards across the country in support of the UK’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships and the Royal Navy’s Survey and Hydrographic Fleet. The deal covers 17 ships and will improve how spares, repairs and maintenance work are carried out.
The successful companies will work on the ships at dockyards around the UK to ensure they are serviced and fitted with the latest equipment and systems, whether they are undergoing a refit, undertaking training or on operations.
Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said:
“This £1bn deal secures work for some of our world-leading shipyards into the next decade, supporting over 700 jobs for workers to ensure our ships remain at sea to defend the nation. This vital work is not only great news for our Navy, but also underlines the importance of defence to our national skills and prosperity.”
Other agreements following a competition include contracts expected to be worth:
£357 million with Cammell Laird in Birkenhead to support the RFA’s Fort and Wave class tankers
£262 million, also with Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, to support the RFA’s new fleet of four 39,000-tonne Tide class tankers
£239 million with A&P in Falmouth to support the RFA’s Bay class landing ships as well as the casualty ship RFA Argus and Royal Navy ocean survey vessel HMS Scott
The deal will deliver savings expected to be worth over £100M for defence, with agreements including delivering improved support and greater efficiency in ways such as new support solutions and improved performance targets. The whole contract is underpinned by a robust set of performance measures to ensure continued value-for-money.
In addition to the four already signed, a further three contracts under the Future In Service Support (FISS) project are expected to be signed within the next year. The news is the latest development in supporting the nation’s military ships, after the MOD unveiled a new model worth around £1 billion to support the Royal Navy fleet and sustain over a thousand British jobs.
Defence Equipment and Support acting Chief of Materiel Ships, Neal Lawson said:
“Through the placing of these contracts and making changes to the way we provide support under this agreement, we will be able to deliver significant financial benefits.
“These include savings expected to be more than £100 million over the course of ten years, as well as improvements in the performance, reliability, safety and sustainability of the RFA and hydrographic fleets.”
Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels supply all Royal Navy ships from the Queen Elizabeth class carriers to destroyers, frigates and patrol vessels with fuel, ammunition, food and spares, wherever they are in the world. They also undertake disaster relief, counter-piracy, counter-narcotics and humanitarian operations around the world.
Hydrographic vessels conduct oceanographic survey duties and safeguard the integrity of the UK’s territorial waters, while the Ice Patrol Ship, HMS Protector, is the MOD’s sole capability in the ice.
Director of UK Docks, Jonathan Wilson, said:
“It’s fantastic news for us - the successful conclusion of months of hard work put into bidding for these contracts - and it takes us to another level as a company.
“It’s an exciting time for UK Docks - a great opportunity and responsibility we have been given by the Ministry of Defence - and we will rise to all expectations.
“We are very proud of our North East origins and it is great to see these contracts being serviced for the country by a company based in the region.”
UK Docks' founder, Harry Wilson, said:
“It is an amazing moment for us as a company to win a contract of this magnitude, prestige and scale.
“It is an acknowledgement of the quality of work and the huge amount of effort that has been put in by the workforce of the company in recent years.
“I think it may have helped that we previously demonstrated our ability to successfully service some of the MoD’s under 50 metres fleet of support vessels from our facilities around the UK.
“That may have played a part in our taking the next step up in terms of the size and scale of responsibility.
“The contract brings investment into the region, will help further develop expertise and skills and I think it is a great vote of confidence in the North East of England.
“We will be managing, coordinating and planning all maintenance activity from our facilities on Tyneside, but noting our dry docks on Teesside have the capacity to service all three vessels, whenever it is possible, the servicing work on them will be carried out there.”
North East Jobs Secured As Part Of £1bn Deal To Support Navy Operations, 7th October 2018, 6:00 AM