THE shadow defence secretary has praised Barrow's contribution to the country after a visit to the shipyard.

Labour MP John Healey described the shipyard as a 'fantastic example of how UK defence spending can strengthen both our national security and our UK economy'.

As part of the visit, Mr Healey toured the Dreadnought and Astute submarine programmes and met the next cohort of young apprentices at the shipyard’s Academy for Skills and Knowledge.

In February, Labour said its commitment to maintaining a minimum credible deterrent and multilateral disarmament was 'non negotiable'.

The party also announced plans to 'make, buy and sell more in Britain' and target defence spending primarily first to British industry, after claiming 30,000 jobs in the defence industry had been lost since 2010.

Mr Healey said: “The last decade has seen the British defence industry lose 30,000 jobs as more of defence spending goes abroad.

“Barrow’s shipyard is a fantastic example of how UK defence spending can strengthen both our national security and our UK economy with highly skilled and well-paid jobs.

“That’s why we want to see a higher bar set for decisions to buy defence equipment from abroad and why a Labour government will make, buy and sell more in Britain.”

Last month the Government announced an £85 million investment into a new fleet of submarines that will support hundreds of jobs at the shipyard.

Design work for the next generation of Royal Navy submarines is under way following the award of two contracts to UK industry.

Barrow MP Simon Fell paid tribute to those in Barrow involved in building the submarines.

He said: "This is absolutely fantastic news - a show of confidence in the amazing submarine programme here in Barrow and a first step towards the next sustained programme of work, bringing with it 250 jobs.

"The announcement today comes after the recent AUKUS pact, showing that UK shipbuilding - and specifically Barrow's work - is world class."

BAE Systems will work alongside the Submarine Delivery Agency, Rolls Royce, Babcock and partners on a new class of nuclear powered attack submarines for the UK Royal Navy to replace the Astute class - currently referred to as SSN-Replacement (SSNR).