Aerial of Birkenhead, Wirral & Cammell lairds docks
THE Cammell Laird shipyard on Birkenhead could be hit as part of the knock-on effect of any decision to close the historic Portsmouth dockyard.
Defence giant BAE Systems has put its UK operations under review in a move that reports have suggested may lead to the closure of the Portsmouth dockyard, putting 3,000 jobs at risk.
BAE stressed it had yet to make any decisions, but an industry source said in weekend reports that such a move could cost between £400m and £600m, including redundancies and asset write-offs.
The source also said that two other British dockyards – Cammell Laird and A&P Tyne at Jarrow – could also be vulnerable in the shake-up because extra work could go elsewhere.
But Cammell Laird is already diversifying into other areas such as wind turbines and nuclear power.
Both yards are subcontractors on a £6bn deal to build two new aircraft carriers, Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales.
Cammell Laird is already building the flight deck and hangars for HMS Queen Elizabeth, and hopes to help build HMS Prince of Wales as well.
Work on the giant hull sections for Queen Elizabeth are nearly complete.
In a contract signed in 2009, the Ministry of Defence guaranteed BAE work for the next 15 years and is bound to shoulder the expense of any yard closures.
This means the programme could be consolidated at BAE’s yards on the Clyde in order to plug a hole in the shipbuilding workload between completion of the carriers and work on a new Type 26 frigate, the reports claimed.
No-one from Cammell Laird was available for comment on the reports.