Historic Devon shipyard to reopen after assets acquired

United Kingdom
25th August 2020

Historic Devon shipyard to reopen after assets acquired

Appledore Shipyard in Bideford has been bought for £7 million by Infrastrata, the London-based firm and owners of Belfast Shipyard Harland & Wolff (H&W). InfraStrata has acquired the assets of the historic Devon shipyard, with the site to be renamed H&W (Appledore).

The business, which is focused on strategic infrastructure projects and physical asset lifecycle management, acquired the “highly strategic asset with a rich shipbuilding heritage” from owners Babcock International.

The announcement was said to represent a huge economic boost for the area and provides a lifeline for the skilled local workforce. Bosses have confirmed they have put a new apprenticeship and training programme in place, while they have confirmed some former employees will return to the historic Devon shipyard along with a new workforce.

Babcock International announced the closure of the site in March 2019 after losing its contract with Italian shipbuilding company, Fincantieri, with around 200 members of staff being made redundant or deployed to Devonport. The announcement triggered a large response from workers, who campaigned tirelessly to save it from closure.

As well as providing a significant opportunity to build a prominent presence in mainland UK, InfraStata said there were significant synergies between Appledore and H&W.The deal includes 29 acres of freehold land, 322,975 sq ft of undercover fabrication halls, 119 metre length of undercover dry-dock and 500 metres of quayside at the Newquay yard for ship repairs.

InfraStrata chief executive John Wood said:

Appledore

The MP for Torridge and West Devon, Geoffrey Cox QC, said the sale is “excellent news for the local community”.

Jointly the InfraStrata group has the potential of employing 1,550 people – 800 in Belfast, 350 at Appledore, and 400 during the construction phase of its Islandmagee gas storage project.

Opened in 1865, Appledore, the historic Devon shipyard, has a rich history of shipbuilding. More than 300 vessels have been built there, including military craft, bulk carriers, LPG carriers, superyachts, ferries, and oil-industry support vessels.

About InfraStrata About Babcock International

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