THE purchase of a former industrial site by BAE has been described as 'fantastic news'.

The former McBride factory in Barrow's Park Road is due to be used by BAE to help deliver its submarine programmes.

Bosses from household cleaning products firm McBride announced the closure of the site in 2019, leading to the loss of around 100 jobs.

But new life is due to be breathed into the site by the submarine builder, which is in the process of delivering major defence contracts for the Royal Navy.

The announcement of the purchase was hailed by Ormsgill councillor Bill McEwan.

He said: "For someone to take it over is really good news, and not just for the Ormsgill area.

"It's too big a unit to be lying empty."

Cllr McEwan said the development, as well as plans for 52 new homes nearby, were major positives for the area.

"I'm over the moon," he said. "Things are looking up."

Steve Cole, BAE Systems' chief infrastructure officer said shipyard workers would be moving in the coming weeks.

He said: "I am particularly pleased to be able to secure a local facility that can support the needs of the submarine programmes, assisting Barrow's economy and ensuring long-term use of some key facilities in the area.

"Adding this to our estate will complement the ongoing redevelopment of our facilities and we're now looking forward to moving in over the coming weeks."

McBride stopped operations at the site last summer.

It blamed the Barrow factory closure on a fall in demand for the laundry powders, with the detergent market shifting toward liquid – forcing the company to examine its manufacturing footprint and ‘realign this in order to remain competitive’.

The company said a surge in demand for cleaning products at the beginning of the pandemic - including bleach, anti-bacterial and disinfecting sprays along with some dish and laundry cleaning products - had not affected plans to close.

McBride revealed work carried out at the Barrow site would move to its other laundry powder production factories at Moyaux in France and Foetz in Luxembourg.

BAE Systems is delivering both the Astute and Dreadnought classes of submarine to the Royal Navy.

Four Astute class submarines have already been delivered to the Royal Navy, the fifth was launched earlier this year and the remaining two are at an advanced stage of construction.

Build work is also well underway on the first two Dreadnought class submarines.

Last month, the Government announced it had awarded BAE Systems an £85m contract to begin early phase concept design work on a new class of nuclear powered submarine to eventually replace the Astute class.