News: Maritime UK welcomes £48m contract for workboat fleet to support UK carriers and UK jobs

Maritime UK has welcomed the Ministry of Defence announcement of a £48 million contract for next-generation workboats, which will support Royal Navy ships across the world.

With Britain’s flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier set to enter her new home in Portsmouth in under two weeks time, tasks to be carried out by the boats will include transferring personnel to and from both of the UK’s carriers. Able to carry up to 36 passengers at one time, the workboats can be stowed inside the Carriers and winched to and from the water using on-board lifting equipment, allowing them to support the enormous ships either in port or on operations.

Building and supporting the boats will also sustain 60 British jobs, including 15 at Atlas Elektronik UK near Dorchester in Dorset where the boats will be built. A further 45 jobs will be sustained across the supply chain, including at E P Barrus in Bicester, KPM-Marine in Birmingham and Mashfords in Plymouth.

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said:

"From the south coast to the banks of the Clyde, British shipbuilding is ensuring that our growing Navy has the reach it needs to protect our interests around the globe. 

"These cutting-edge workboats will support the likes of our iconic new aircraft carriers and the Type 26 frigates, as well as sustaining 60 British jobs. This is another step in our £178 billion plan to provide our Armed Forces with the very best equipment to keep our country safe."

Chairman of Maritime UK David Dingle said:

“The maritime sector welcomes this new MoD contract which not only enables the Royal Navy to perform its key role of protecting merchant shipping and UK trade, but also sustains numerous jobs throughout the supply chain, and continues the fantastic trend of a renaissance in UK shipbuilding and boatbuilding.

"From the RSS Sir David Attenborough being built by Cammell Laird in Merseyside, Princess Yacht’s investment in the UK’s world-leading superyacht industry, Thames Clipper’s expanded fleet being built on the Isle of Wight, to the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ships being built in Glasgow, and of course the new aircraft carriers, we’re seeing really positive signs for UK shipbuilding and boatbuilding. 

“International interest in UK shipbuilding and boatbuilding is on the rise too, and Maritime UK will be promoting and championing this important part of our sector, not least during London International Shipping Week next month.

“A strong and successful shipbuilding industry will benefit the whole of the maritime sector."