Tag Archives: Barrow

UK – Vernon Coaker to visit yards building Trident’s replacement submarines

Shadow defence secretary to show Labour remains committed to new nuclear deterrent with visit to Barrow’s Vanguard site

Vernon Coaker

Vernon Coaker replaced Jim Murphy in the shadow cabinet reshuffle last week.

The new shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker will display his personal commitment to Labour retaining an independent nuclear deterrent on Wednesday when he visits the yards building the Vanguard replacement submarines that will be the successors to the current Trident programme.

Coaker replaced Jim Murphy in the shadow cabinet reshuffle last week and will travel to Barrow to show that Labour remains committed to a new nuclear deterrent.

In advance Coaker said: “In an uncertain and unpredictable world in which other nations possess nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation remains a deep concern, Labour believes it is right that the United Kingdom retains the minimum credible independent nuclear deterrent.

“We will continue to look at ways in which the Successor programme can be delivered efficiently, through the strategic defence and security and zero based spending reviews we have pledged to conduct under a Labour government.”

The local Labour MP John Woodcock, MP for Barrow and Furness, said “Vernon’s decision to come here first signals the strength of Labour’s support for the UK’s submarine programme and the value a future Labour government will place in the extraordinary manufacturing expertise it sustains in Furness and across the country. ”

Source – The Guardian

UK – Work starts on sixth Astute submarine at Barrow

Agamemnon keel

The keel is the first part of a submarine to be built

A ceremony has been held at a Cumbrian shipyard to mark the start of work on the sixth of a fleet of seven new submarines for the Royal Navy.

The Astute-class vessel – a nuclear-powered attack submarine – is being built at BAE Systems in Barrow.

It has been officially named Agamemnon after the Greek mythological King, though it has not yet been constructed.

A keel laying ceremony took place at Devonshire Dock Hall.

Defence Equipment Minister Philip Dunne attended the ceremony and revealed the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had signed a new contract with BAE Systems.

The Barrow yard has been working on the Astute programme since 2001.

The other submarines are HMS Astute, Ambush, Artful, Audacious and Anson. The seventh will be named HMS Ajax.

Hard to detect

The keel for the first vessel – HMS Astute – was laid in January 2001 and the craft was launched in June 2007.

Mr Dunne said: “The keel-laying of Agamemnon and the handover of HMS Astute and HMS Ambush to the Royal Navy are huge milestones, reflecting significant progress in the programme.

“By ensuring the UK’s submarine programme remains affordable, this new contract will help deliver the Astute Class and secure around 5,000 jobs at BAE Systems and thousands more in over 400 suppliers across the UK submarine supply chain.”

The fleet of submarines will be based at Faslane in Scotland.

The Astute Class of vessels have greater firepower, state-of-the-art communications equipment and advanced stealth technology, making them quiet and harder to detect, according to the MoD.

Source – BBC News

UK – MPs back submarine building in Barrow

Workers at Barrow’s BAE Systems plant in front of an Astute class submarine

MPs and members of the House of Lords met to show their support for the UK’s submarine building industry, a key employer in the North West.

Politicians met with key figures in the industry and representatives of the supply chain and trade unions, who wanted to illustrate the chain of jobs that sten form submarine construction in areas like Barrow.

The event was supported by BAE Systems and the Keep Our Future Afloat Campaign, a trade union organisation which campaigns to keep high-tech jobs in the North West and across the UK.

Philip Dunne MP, minister for defence equipment, and Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s shadow secretary of state, were among those who spoke at the event to show their strong support for Britain’s submarine-based nuclear deterrent.

All the speakers paid tribute to the cutting edge work of the firms forming the supply chain for the Astute-class submarines, currently under construction in Barrow, and stressed the importance for these firms of the Vanguard replacement programme.

John Woodcock, MP for Barrow and Furness, who hosted the event said:

“It was fantastic to see so many MPs and peers from every corner of the country and all political parties coming to meet representatives of the firms and workers who form the supply chain for Britain’s cutting edge submarines. They will have been left in no doubt of the importance of the submarine programme to supporting British manufacturing and rebalancing the economy, as well as to securing Britain’s security – I hope they will bear this in mind when the time comes in 2016 to make a decision on renewing our at-sea nuclear deterrent.

“I am particularly grateful for the strong political support given to the submarine programme by government and opposition frontbenchers, Philip Dunne and Jim Murphy, in their speeches – the 1,200 firms in the supply chain will have taken heart from what they both said.”

Source – ITV News

Future submarine engineers buoyed by BAE Systems Barrow shipyard challenge

THE next generation of engineers have been inspired by the opportunities ahead for them to be involved in designing and building the world’s most technically advanced nuclear submarines – right here on their doorstep.

thinking caps on The teams at work on the challenge

thinking caps on The teams at work on the challenge

Secondary and college students were amazed as they ventured through the giant doors of Devonshire Dock Hall at BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines, to see Astute class submarines at various stages of construction.

Future Engineers Day at BAE Systems saw 100 year nine  students from Furness secondary schools, and 20 post-16 college students, experience Barrow’s shipyard first hand.

The day was run in partnership with Barrow Engineering Project, which is supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering, during National Science and Engineering Week.

This was the third Future Engineers Day, and it showcased to students how science, technology, engineering and maths can be used in successful careers in Barrow with the global defence company.

sink or swim Future Engineers Day at BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines, with Chloe McKenna of Walney School and Paris Corkill of St Bernard’s Catholic High School, with Rob Chaplin, a BAE Graduate and STEM ambassador, during the testing process of the challenge

sink or swim Future Engineers Day at BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines, with Chloe McKenna of Walney School and Paris Corkill of St Bernard’s Catholic High School, with Rob Chaplin, a BAE Graduate and STEM ambassador, during the testing process of the challenge

Alan Dunn, operations director at BAE Systems, spoke to the students about the Astute programme and the future Successor project. He also explained the importance of team work at the business which has a workforce of around 5,000 people.

He told them “Astute is ours, and Successor could be yours.”

The day involved a team challenge, where the students would work in mixed teams with young people from different schools. Each team also had a college student mentor.

The task was devised and set by the BAE Systems STEM ambassadors, who were overseeing the progress of the teams. The ambassadors have also been working with the college students on various projects.

The challenge was set around Archimedes’ buoyancy principle. The teams were told that there was sunken cargo off the coast of Barrow and they needed to retrieve it.  They were required to design a vessel that could sink and rise to the surface again.

The students had to take on team roles, use their budget to buy materials, then design, build and eventually test their creation in a tank of water.

The students also benefited from hearing directly from people who have joined BAE Systems through  different pathways, such as a graduate, a trainee and an apprentice.

Laura Lake, a communications advisor at BAE Systems, who organised the event with the partners, thanked all those who had contributed to making the event a great success.

Mrs Lake said that BAE Systems staff had praised the students for how well they had worked together and adjusted to the challenge.

She said: “We want to show young people that engineering is fun and a great career.

“The DDH visit is a real highlight of the day. It is awe inspiring for the students.

“It was quite a hard challenge that was set and it required teamwork.

“The students did not know one another and they really adjusted well and worked as a team to figure out solutions.”

Source – In Cumbria


Barrow built submarine due to be commissioned into Royal Navy today

HMS Ambush off Rhu spit near Faslane

BARROW-built Ambush is due to officially join the Royal Navy today.

A commissioning ceremony will take place at Faslane naval base on the Clyde where the 7,400-tonne sub will officially become “Her Majesty’s Ship”, or HMS Ambush. The second Astute-class attack submarine was launched in January 2011 at BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. The nuclear-powered submarine arrived at her home port of HM Naval Base Clyde in September last year where she has undergone extensive sea trials. Ambush is 97 metres-long and holds around 100 personnel. She travels at a speed of up to 30 knots.

Source – North West Evening mail

Apprentice boost for BAE Systems yard in Barrow

Ambush in Barrow

Astute Class submarines are built in Barrow


Defence giant BAE Systems is to recruit 140 engineering and business apprentices in Cumbria over the course of the year, the company has announced.

They will join the firm’s submarine-building business in Barrow, with a further 100 at its shipbuilding sites in Portsmouth and Glasgow.

The company is building the Navy’s latest Astute Class nuclear submarines.

A spokesman said attracting suitable apprentices was vital in generating the company’s “workforce of the future”.

Source – BBC News


Read – Trident Alternatives Review 

THE Nuclear Education Trust has today published its report into the Trident Alternatives Review and the future of Barrow.

The report makes a case for the publication of the Lib Dem-led review into alternatives to “like-for-like” replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system.

It also concluded that while Barrow is heavily dependent on BAE Systems as an employer, the economic impact of an option other than like-for-like replacement is not ‘a “binary” choice between 6,000 employed or none’.

The report said: “The Nuclear Education Trust heard that diversification for BAE Systems and regeneration of the Barrow economy is extremely difficult. But we also heard that there is evidence of diversification that had been delivered over the past 20 years and that it would be possible in the future. In many respects Barrow, although still dependent on the shipyard, is already transformed from the town it was in the early 1990s.”

The report recommends that the government should ‘take a number of steps now to support a fragile economy’. Reducing Barrow’s dependence on BAE Systems (and thus the need for Trident replacement) could be achieved through a range of investment, regeneration and diversification mechanisms, the report argues.

This could include investment from the Energy Coast Initiative, creation of an Enterprise Zone for Barrow and transitional funding from European Structural Funds, as well as support towards industrial diversification.

The report also suggested an investment of £100m be made in Barrow if there is no like-for-like replacement of the Trident system.

It said: “In the event of a decision to proceed with an option other than a like for like replacement and which means a step down in employment, the government must provide immediate, sustained and considerable support, which should include for instance regeneration funding at the level of £100m for every 1,000 jobs lost to the local economy.”

The Nuclear Education Trust therefore commissioned its research and a survey to examine in detail the alternatives proposed by the Trident Alternatives Review (TAR) and their implications for Barrow.

The project sought to answer the key ‘what if’ question: “What if the UK proceeds with one of the options under consideration by the Trident Alternatives Review and not the full successor programme?”

In its foreword to the report, NET said it was “very aware that the issue of people’s future employment in Barrow is a very sensitive one – “even whispers in the corridors of Whitehall reverberate loudly throughout the town” (TUC). But sensitivity to – or concern about – what happens to people in areas dependent on military contracts is much more widely shared. Hence we hope that our report will resonate with many.”

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said: “There are some valuable recommendations to diversify Barrow’s economy in this report, particular the call for the area to become eligible for energy coast support from which it is currently unfairly excluded.

“But a drive to broaden Barrow’s economic base should be done on the foundation of a thriving shipyard, not as an inadequate replacement for submarine jobs.

“Above all, we should not be distracted by talk of rescue packages when no-one has yet produced any credible evidence that there is a more effective way to provide the nation’s nuclear deterrent than building successor submarines in Barrow shipyard.”

Source – Whitehaven News


Ramsden Square, Barrow   in Furness

Ramsden Square, Barrow in Furness

A MEMORIAL is set to be created to remember submariners from Barrow and further afield.

A tribute is set to be sited in Ramsden Square, to mark the coincidental 100th and 50th anniversaries of the Australian Submarine Service and the Barrow Branch of the Submariner’s Association.

Next year will see both organisations celebrate milestone anniversaries and a small tribute is set to be installed to mark those who have served the associations.

Barrow has strong links with Australia with the country’s first two submarines, AE1 and AE2, built at the shipyard before being lost in the Second World War.

An Australian based organisation, AE1 Incorporated, is looking to commemorate the loss of these boats and is attempting to organise memorials in Australia and Barrow.

Barrow Borough Council was approached by the local submariner’s association about sorting the tribute and agreed on Wednesday that the tribute should be sited in Ramsden Square.

Executive director of the council Phil Huck said the memorial’s position would allow a passing salute to be given during the annual Remembrance Day parade.

He said: “There has been some discussions with officers about where the tribute would go. The site that seems to satisfy both officers and the association is in Ramsden Square.”

Councillor Barry Doughty asked if the council had considered placing the memorial in the Coronation Gardens in Abbey Road, near Furness Magistrates’ Court.

He said: “Speaking as an offcomer, I just find that Ramsden Square perhaps doesn’t offer the sensitivity that the memorial should have. I wondered about the Coronation Gardens. Is there any reason why it cannot be put there?”

Mr Huck said both parties wanted the memorial sited in an area where people would visit and that not as many people would see the memorial if it was in the gardens.

Councillor Des Barlow said the memorial would act as a good link between the town and Australia.

The committee agreed to putting the memorial in land at Ramsden Square subject to the design and size of the memorial being agreed.

Source – NW Evening Mail