BAE shutters ship building in Portsmouth

Suzie Neuwirth
FTSE 100-listed defence firm BAE Systems yesterday said it would be cutting 1,775 jobs at English and Scottish shipyards and ending its 800 years of historic shipbuilding in Portsmouth entirely, following a decline in workload.

The company is restructuring its UK naval ships arm after reviewing it for over a year, and will now focus efforts at its Glasgow base.

Work at the Portsmouth shipyards on the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers is due to end by around 2019, with no similarly-sized contracts on the horizon.

“Under these proposals, shipbuilding operations at Portsmouth will cease in the second half of 2014,” it said, adding the cost of the restructuring would be borne by the Ministry of Defence.

Union leader David Hulse said it was a “devastating day for the UK shipbuilding industry”.