Calls For Polar Ship To Be Built In Portsmouth

A Portsmouth MP has called for a new £200 million polar research ship to be built in the city.

Penny Mordaunt's plea comes after the city was hit by 900 job cuts last year when BAE Systems 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.

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.''

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