In an official statement released earlier this week, defense contractor Babcock International says it will review operations at its North Devon shipyard at Appledore following the completion of a patrol vessel for the Irish Naval Service.
Babcock International, which manages Her Majesty’s Naval Base at Devonport, is currently working on its fourth vessel for the Irish Naval Service, the LÉ George Bernard Shaw.
“Babcock is in the final stages of successfully delivering the fourth offshore patrol vessel for the Irish Naval Service, LÉ George Bernard Shaw,” the company said in a statement.
With the offer to build four offshore patrol vessels for the Irish Naval Service nearing completion without new orders in the pipeline, the future of the shipyard hangs in the balance.
“As that programme comes to an end, we are reviewing the options for our business at Appledore.” The statement added.
Unions plan mass rally as speculations on closure mount
The Unite the Union and GMB Union are calling for urgent action to save the site and up to 200 jobs following speculations that a final decision to close Appledore could be made by Babcock International at a board meeting in November 2018.
According to the unions, the mass rally in Bideford will hold on Saturday, October 27, from 10.30am at Jubilee Square. The members of the union will march to Victoria Park where there will be a rally in support of the yard at 11.30am in the park.