Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, has called on the newly appointed secretary of state for business, energy and industry strategy (BEIS) Alok Sharma to ensure the re-opening of the Appledore shipyard is at the very top of his in-tray.

Top of in-tray

It is understood that the re-opening of the 165 year old shipyard in north Devon by a consortium led by businessman Claus Santon is being delayed by political red tape.

The consortium has already secured orders which will guarantee work for roughly four years, for between 100-200 skilled workers, however in order to go ahead with its plans it is seeking some minimal reassurances from government, that have not yet been forthcoming.

Government delay

Unite regional officer Heathcliffe Pettifor said: “The changing of the cabinet minister responsible for business must not be allowed to delay the re-opening of Appledore.

 “The future of the shipyard must be at the very top of Alok Sharma’s in-tray.

 “Devon is crying out for skilled employment of this type and not only does Appledore provide this work, it can and should play a strategic role in the UK’s shipbuilding capacity.”

 ENDS

Notes to editors:

‘Political will’ needed to secure Appledore shipyard opening

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.