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Now there's a Harland and Wolff in Devon as yard's owner expands

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson chats with students from Petroc college in Braunton during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in Devon

Prime Minister Boris Johnson chats with students from Petroc college in Braunton during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in Devon

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson chats with students from Petroc college in Braunton during his visit to Appledore Shipyard in Devon

A second Harland & Wolff shipyard has been created in a deal to reopen a historic shipyard in Devon.

Appledore Shipyard in Devon was bought by InfraStrata, the firm that owns Belfast's Harland & Wolff, in a £7m deal.

The firm will operate it as Harland & Wolff (Appledore), dealing with smaller vessels than the Belfast site where the Titanic was built.

Appledore built part of the Royal Navy's latest aircraft carriers and has a history dating back to the 1850s.

Infrastrata's £5.25m deal to buy Harland & Wolff in Belfast saved the jobs of 79 workers, who had faced a bleak future when the firm went into administration last August.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the Devon site yesterday and said it has a "massive history but it's also got a great future".

"What we want to do is to ensure that there's a good enough stream of contracts coming through to drive jobs and growth here in Devon," he said.

InfraStrata said that while the yard has been dormant in recent months and the acquisition only comes with one employee - the current site manager - the workforce can be "very quickly ramped up" if contracts for work are secured.

Discussions are already under way with the Government and private vessel owners, InfraStrata said.

The site was previously operated by Babcock but closed in March 2019.

Its new owners hope the Ministry of Defence, Home Office and Department for Transport will choose a British yard for work on planned vessels.

InfraStrata's chief executive John Wood said: "The acquisition at this point in time is opportunistic for the company and one that should not be missed."

Belfast Telegraph