GMB warns over 'dither and delay' on Appledore

31 Jan 2020
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GMB, the union for shipbuilders, has criticised the UK Government for ongoing delays in the potential re-opening of the famous Appledore Shipyard in Devon. 

Previous operator Babcock International Group exited the yard over 10 months ago.

Since then, GMB and its sister trade unions have been involved in ongoing negotiations, led by the South West Business Council, to re-open the yard and secure a viable future.

Matt Roberts, GMB Organiser, said:

"A buyer with a viable proposition has been lined up for over 4 months now, but there seems to be dither and delay from the Government, causing more uncertainty for our members.

“We understand the need for due diligence to be undertaken, but our members are ready to get back to work and the buyer themselves are getting very frustrated.

"We have noticed increasing frustration from the buyer with how long the bureaucracy is taking, and if they were to pull out, then the Government would need to own that disaster and put something else in place rapidly.

"The Government cannot wait for a major group to come into the picture with a bottomless pit of funds. It's not going to happen. We have a viable proposition on the table now that can work, so let's get this over the line before it's too late."

Jake McLean, Appledore Shipbuilder and GMB Union Rep, said:

"Myself and the other reps have worked around the clock to keep the workforce engaged and ready to go back to building ships here in North Devon.

“This area needs this vital industry back operating to give hope to youngsters that there is a future for them in Torridge.

“Everything is in place and ready, we just need the Government and Devon County Council to complete the jigsaw."

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