Belfast Telegraph

Harland & Wolff bidding for work on £1.25bn MoD shipbuilding scheme

By John Mulgrew

Belfast shipyard Harland & Wolff is teaming up with a number of other firms to bid for the lucrative construction of the UK government's £1.25bn plan to build five new frigates.

The Government wants to build five new ships, each worth £250m.

In September, the Belfast Telegraph reported that Titanic-builder Harland & Wolff, which once employed 35,000 workers at its peak back in the 1920s, but now is down to a workforce of 115, said it hoped to be in the running for work on the ships.

Now, according to the Financial Times, it is teaming up with companies, including weapons firm Thales — which employs more than 500 people in Belfast — to bid for constructon of the ships.

Last year, David McVeigh, head of sales and marketing at Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries, said:

"H&W have supported the development of the National Shipbuilding Strategy and look forward to engaging further with the Ministry of Defence and industry partners in an effort to secure work on the T31e programme and create shipbuilding jobs."

Harland & Wolff's Jonathan Guest said at the time that "we'd very much like to hope that Harland and Wolff would be one of those" selected for work on the ships.

The frigates are due to be in service by 2023 and shipyards would be encouraged to ensure the vessel was competitive on the global market by working with "global partners".

Harland & Wolff hasn't produced a ship in around 14 years. The last to leave Queen's Island was the £40m Anvil Point at the start of 2003.

The 22,000-tonne ferry was the second of two vessels built for the Ministry of Defence.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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