A STATUE commemorating 150 years of Barrow shipyard has been unveiled at BAE Systems Submarines site.

The ‘People. Product. Pride: 150 years of Barrow Shipyard’ statue was created by apprentices in the Submarine Academy of Skills and Knowledge.

Set to go on display in the town this year, it depicts the area's shipbuilding heritage through three key elements; the men and women who have worked in the shipyard, the community the business has served for a century and a half, and the shipyard's long-term partner, the Royal Navy.

The piece was unveiled by BAE Systems Submarines Managing Director Steve Timms.

He said: "This statue represents so much that has occurred in our proud history. The timeline of major events, the pioneering advancements in technology, and the ever-changing employee landscape as increasing numbers of female workers have taken on traditionally male roles.

“The Royal Navy personnel in the centre of the statue represent and pay homage to the key and consistent link that we have with the Royal Navy and the UK government, a relationship that will hopefully continue for many more years to come.

“This statue also highlights the role of our apprentices. They are the future of this business and their talent, skill, creativity and hard work came up with the design of this fantastic piece and then turned it into reality.”

The statue design was selected after a competition between apprentices at the shipyard's Submarines Academy for Skills and Knowledge.

Georgia Cooper, a fourth-year Project Management Degree Apprentice, said: “I feel so happy that the statue is completed and those who have been involved have been able to see their hard work come to fruition. It was important for us to get the whole business involved."

Apprentice sheet metal worker Stephen Coulter said: “It has been an honour to work in the project, we enjoyed coming up with the concept design. I feel proud to see it come to life.”

Skills Development Coach Shaun Hannaway, who came up with the initial concept for the project, said: “It has been amazing to see so many different people in both our Early Careers population and the wider business be involved in this project.

“During the initial start-up discussions it was beyond my wildest dreams to see the project grow so big. I can’t wait to see the statue in place.”