BAE To Invest In Glasgow Shipyards

BAE Systems has announced it is to retain both of its shipyards in Glasgow and make its most significant investment in them for decades.

The company will invest £100 million in improving and expanding manufacturing facilities at the Govan and Scotstoun yards.

It announced its decision following a review of options for the future.

The other option under consideration had been a £200 million single-site strategy involved building a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Scotstoun, placing the future of the Govan yard in doubt.

The company last year lodged planning applications for both proposals, neither of which was expected to lead to job losses.

A BAE Systems spokesman said: "Following an assessment of potential facilities options, we have decided to retain and invest in both of our sites in Glasgow.

"We will work closely with our trade unions as we prepare the detailed designs to improve and expand our manufacturing facilities, which will mark the most significant investment in the Glasgow shipyards in decades.

"Together with investments in new technologies, cutting-edge processes and new ways of working, improved infrastructure will play a key role in transforming the way we design and build complex warships.

"This will enable us to create a modern, safe and inspiring workplace for our employees whilst ensuring we deliver equipment to the highest quality at the lowest possible cost so we can compete effectively for future UK and international orders.''

The news was welcomed by politicians.

Chris Stephens, MP for Glasgow South West and Carol Monaghan, MP for Glasgow North West said: "We met with BAE today and are delighted by their decision to keep both the Govan and Scotstoun yards open. The yards will continue to work together to build the next generation of Royal Navy warships.

"The building of the Type 26 Frigates offers long term job security and will be welcomed by workers on both sites. This decision by BAE is a testament to the abilities of the highly skilled workforces and it is important that we recognise the world-leading expertise that we have here on the Clyde. We look forward to working closely with BAE in the future.''

Bill Kidd, SNP MSP for the Scotstoun shipyard, said: "The fact is that the expertise and experience of our workforce mean Scottish shipyards are the best place to build the next generation of ships - so there cannot be any more threats from Westminster about the future of shipbuilding on the Clyde.''

Scottish Conservative West of Scotland MSP Annabel Goldie said: "This is a tremendous statement of confidence in the United Kingdom's defence capacity.

"It is also a very welcome statement of confidence by BAE in the skills of shipyard workers in Scotland.''

Glasgow City Council also welcomed the news. Its leader Gordon Matheson said: "The council's priority is to support BAE Systems in keeping these high quality shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde.

"The investment in the Glasgow yards is testament to the professionalism and commitment of the workforce, and ensures the city will keep on producing the world's most advanced ships.''

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