A NEW academy for shipbuilding skills should be built in Barrow, according to the town's MP.

Simon Fell is calling for a new maritime academy to come to the town.

It comes as the Government prepares to launch its national shipbuilding strategy.

And the MP says he been urging Defence Secretary Ben Wallace to bring a possible new academy base to Barrow.

Mr Fell said: " The Government is shortly to launch its national shipbuilding strategy.

"As part of this it is expected that it will announce that it plans to move ahead with a National Skills Academy for Maritime, which will provide industry-specific and quality assured training.

"Fifteen other sectors have similar academies so it is about time that the shipbuilding sector developed one of its own.

"I have lobbied the Defence Secretary, and the Defence Procurement Minister to use Barrow as the base for any potential academy.

"Between BAE’s submarine academy, the new university campus coming to Barrow as part of the £25million Towns Deal, and Furness College, the National Skills Academy for Maritime would sit very neatly in our town." 

A redrawing of the 2017 national shipbuilding strategy, which focused on naval shipbuilding, is under way and is expected to look at commercial opportunities.

An official document said: "The Government will publish an update to its 2017 strategy, which will set out how the Government intends to create the conditions for success for all parts of the enterprise, from shipyards building warships, to those building offshore wind vessels and the companies providing the systems and components which are so critical to our maritime capabilities."

Mr Fell discussed the academy plan with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Shipbuilding last week.

In 2018, the then Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson officially opened the Academy for Skills and Knowledge at the BAE Systems’ Submarines site in Barrow.

The £25m training academy was built to develop the world-class engineering skills.