Cumbria County Council's Cabinet member responsible for economic development has welcomed the announcement from the Government that it is awarding a £328m contract for designing a new generation of nuclear deterrent submarines to BAE Systems as "brilliant news for Barrow".
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed the contract is part of a £350m programme to deliver the new Successor class of submarines by 2028, replacing the Vanguard Class submarines which currently carry the UK's nuclear deterrent - Trident.
The contract will sustain the 1,000 jobs in Barrow currently dedicated to delivering the new class of submarines and also confirm the 280 new jobs the company announced in February it planned to create.
Although a decision on the final design and build will not be made until 2016, detailed work has to take place now to ensure that the Successor submarines will be the most technologically advanced, to protect national security. It is anticipated that the programme will secure work at Barrow shipyard until the 2040s.
Cllr Tony Markley, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet member responsible for economic development, said:
"This is a significant step in a massive defence programme and will be warmly welcomed in the yard. We are still awaiting the final green light from the Government to confirm the nuclear deterrent submarine programme for decades to come, but the award of this design contract to Barrow is a key milestone and shows commitment at the highest level. It sustains jobs now and maps out a clear direction for the future. It is brilliant news for Barrow."
BAE Systems Managing Director John Hudson said: “The signing of this contract is a key step forward in our business strategy to deliver a seven-boat Astute programme followed by the replacement class for the Vanguard submarines. Not only does it help sustain the jobs of over 1,000 skilled employees currently working on the programme, it also provides the opportunity to grow our workforce by a further 280 in 2012."
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