Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, has described the re-opening of the Appledore shipyard as being in touching distance and simply requires an element of ‘political will’ to get the deal over the line.

Unite understands that a consortium, led by Claus Santon is poised to buy the shipyard in North Devon and has already secured roughly four years’ worth of work. However in order for the deal to go through, the consortium is seeking some very limited assurances from the government.

Joined up thinking

A lack of joined up thinking and prevarication between the government and Devon county council is thought to be the only thing that is holding up the deal.

Since the shipyard closed in March 2019, Unite along with the local community has been campaigning for it to re-open.

Skilled work

Once the yard is re-opened it will provide employment for between 100-200 skilled workers.

Political will

Unite regional officer Heathcliffe Pettifer, who previously worked at the yard said: “We are on the verge of securing the re-opening of the Appledore shipyard the only thing delaying the process appears to be a lack of political will.

 “The government needs to demonstrate joined up thinking and provide the minimal assurances the consortium needs in order to get the yard re-opened.

 “Any further delay or lack of support would be a gross dereliction of the government’s duty to support the UK’s shipbuilding industry.”

Make re-opening a reality

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “Since the closure of Appledore our local union members and the wider community have never given up campaigning to get the yard re-opened.

 “It is now imperative that the government signs the necessary paperwork to make the re-opening of Appledore a reality.

 “The return of shipbuilding to North Devon will demonstrate that the government is serious about supporting the manufacturing sector and providing high quality skilled jobs in the UK’s regions.”


Notes to editors:

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.