Liverpool City Region’s Cammell Laird ‘stands ready’ to build new navy ships
Liverpool City Region’s shipyard Cammell Laird has said it “stands ready” to take a lead role in building the Royal Navy’s next generation of warships.
On Monday, LBN reported the iconic shipbuilding and engineering business was getting ready to revive its bid to build new frigates for the Royal Navy. Last week the Government announced a £16.5bn increase in defence spending over the next four years.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a big chunk of the budget would be spent to “restore Britain’s position as the foremost naval power in Europe” and he name-checked Birkenhead in his statement to the House of Commons.
Now David McGinley, chief executive of Cammell Laird Ship Repairers and Shipbuilders, Atlantic & Peninsula Marine Services, has confirmed to LBN that his expert team are ready to take on the challenge to help modernise the Royal Navy’s fleet of vessels.
He said: “Cammell Laird welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement of the UK Government’s commitment to inject £16.5bn of additional funding into UK defence spending.
“The shipyard has completed some of the most ambitious shipbuilding projects in modern times, through the Aircraft Carrier Alliance and the construction of RRS Sir David Attenborough. We now stand ready to play our part in furthering the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which will benefit the UK economy and the prosperity of the Merseyside community in which we serve.”
Cammell Laird, which has just finished building the £200m RRS Sir David Attenborough polar research vessel, had previously teamed up with defence giant BAE Systems to design what it called its Leander frigate to meet the requirements of a £1.25bn project by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to build five Type 31 frigates.
It had established a network of 2,000 potential suppliers that would help it build the vessels. However, in 2018 the MoD put the project on hold. Now, with what has been described as the “biggest investment in the UK’s armed forces since the end of the Cold War”, the MoD will revive the plans to build the Type 31 frigates, as well as new Type 32 and Type 26 vessels.
In May, Mr McGinley took over as chief executive of the business, replacing long-standing boss John Syvret. Mr McGinley would be keen to secure a major naval contract early on in his tenure.
Cammell Laird has plenty of pedigree the building of naval vessels. In the 20th century it built the aircraft carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Venerable as well as multiple battleships for the Royal Navy.
More recently, the company has delivered the flight decks and hangars for the Royal Navy’s two newest aircraft carriers – HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales between 2014 and 2016. HMS Prince of Wales visited the Mersey in March this year.