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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

BAE boss warns of shipyard closure

BAE Systems could close one of its major shipyards, chief executive Nigel Whitehead has warned – leading to fears about the future of the company’s Portsmouth site.

Mr Whitehead told the Sunday Telegraph a decision would be made by the end of the year.

It is believed Portsmouth is most at risk and a closure could reportedly put about 1,500 jobs under threat.

The future of its three main shipyards - in Portsmouth, and Govan and Scotstoun on the River Clyde - after two new aircraft carriers are completed has been in doubt for some time.

"The issue is how to consolidate... but make sure that we've preserved the capability to design and manufacture complex warships," Mr Whitehead told the newspaper.
"We anticipate that there will be a reduction in footprint and we anticipate... that part of that might actually be the cessation of manufacturing at one of the sites."

Mr Whitehead also revealed that relations with EADS have strengthened since a merger bid collapsed earlier this year.

He said: "The relationship with EADS has been strengthened. The mutual trust has grown as a result of the fact we were very authentic and honest with each other, and there was no sense of trying to outdo each other.

“So from that perspective there is a warmth between the two companies, and a willingness to focus our attention on jointly working to win export opportunities. It's positive."

Click here to read the full interview 

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