Threatened cuts to two Devonport-based assault ships would inflict a body blow to Plymouth’s economy, a new study has revealed.
The loss of HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark could hit the 968 jobs they provide directly through military and Babcock engineering personnel, which is equivalent to eight per cent of the total Navy Base workforce
The study commissioned by Plymouth City Council also highlights that further damage would be caused by the impact on another 250 jobs related to maintenance periods on the ships which are due to be in service until the mid-2030s.
The study shows that HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark provide a total of 1,045 jobs and £56m in Gross Value Added (GVA) in Plymouth once the impact of spend in the supply chain and the wages spent by the directly employed workers is taken into account.
It would hit the 1,176 jobs and £61 million in GVA the ships provide to the two counties due to a large proportion of the Naval Base’s, Dockyard’s and Babcock’s supply chain lying outside the city’s boundaries and the wages spent outside the city.
The ships support a total of 250 suppliers across the South West.
Plymouth City Council leader Ian Bowyer said: “The study provides even more compelling evidence that cutting these two ships makes absolutely no sense. They are not only vital to the UK’s amphibious defence capability, their loss would inflict a body blow to the Plymouth and South West economies. Employees and suppliers from across the region would be hit. This would undermine all the excellent work being done to grow Plymouth’s reputation as centre for marine industry.
“We will now be providing the strong evidence from this study to the House of Commons Defence Committee, which has asked for submissions on the potential impact of the cuts on the community.
“This work lends further weight to our cross-party campaign to protect these ships and I would urge everyone to make their views known by emailing the Prime Minister and signing the online petition.”
SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN
Please do two things to show your support:
SIGN the online petition at: https://petition.parliament.uk and search ‘Devonport’
TELL the Prime Minister.
Email her at: https://email.number10.gov.uk/
Or write to her at:
The Rt. Honourable Theresa May MP
10 Downing Street London