Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has visited A&P Group in Falmouth, where he announced that the firm has been awarded a major new £15 million contract by the Ministry of Defence to install high-end military capabilities in four new tankers so that they are ready for operations by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
The decision, which will see the creation of 16 new jobs, including 6 new apprenticeships, will help secure 350 jobs on the site and provides a welcome economic boost to the town and wider region.
A&P Group, one of Europe’s leading ship repair companies, is a major provider of marine engineering services to the UK Ministry of Defence and overseas navies. A&P Group operate seven dry docks across three strategic locations in the UK: the Tyne, the Tees, and Falmouth.
The visit formed a key part of the Chancellor and Prime Minister’s tour of the south-west, where they set out their six point long term economic plan for the south-west to create a truly national recovery, jobs and prosperity for the next generation in the south-west.
A key cornerstone of that plan is ensuring that the world class defence assets and cyber security industry in the south-west continue to provide the maximum possible benefit to the local economy.
As part of this the Chancellor set out £900 million of investment in the Salisbury Plain area to create new residential accommodation, workshops and storage facilities for the army.
This will support up to 6,500 new construction jobs. He also announced that GCHQ, who play a vital role in maintaining the cyber security of the UK, are recruiting 400 new cyber specialists, to be primarily based in the south-west.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said:
I’m delighted that A&P Group has been awarded this major new defence contract that will create new jobs here in Falmouth and give job security to many others here on the site and in Falmouth.
It is only because we have a long term economic plan that we are able to make these big investment decisions here in the south-west to help the region develop and maintain its position as a world class hub for defence and cyber security services.
Minister for Defence Equipment support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said:
The vital customisation work being done in the UK on the tide class tankers will enhance these vessels with state of the art equipment, including communications systems, ballistic protection, and upgrading to allow quick fit of self defensive weapons.
This investment will provide the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) with a world class tanker capability which in turn will benefit the Royal Navy by supporting its current and future warships on operations around the globe, including the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers.
A&P Group Managing Director Andy Shaw said:
The contract is significant for A&P Falmouth where the majority of the works will be undertaken utilising the company’s deep water facilities and heavy engineering infrastructure. The contract also provides A&P group’s port business, Falmouth Docks and Engineering Company, (the Statutory Harbour Authority), with additional business streams and enables it to progress with its ambitious growth strategy.