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Appledore Shipyard to Re-open?

Appledore shipyard to reopen?

The future of the Devon shipyard was in doubt when the defence firm Babcock chose not to renew its lease last year.

The shipyard could reopen as soon as December if a deal is secured, although the terms may not be finalised for a fortnight or more.

The future of the shipyard, which made components for HMS Queen Elizabeth and the new generation of aircraft carriers, came under threat after Babcok International chose not to renew its lease in November 2018.

Multiple parties are understood to be involved in talks about taking on the shipyard.  The closure threatened the jobs of 200 workers in a yard that had built hundreds of ships and played a part in the second world war shipbuilding effort.  Some Babcock workers were reassigned to a facility in Devonport.  Babcock's withdrawal from Appledore came at a difficult time for what remains of the once-mighty British shipbuilding industry.  Belfast's Harland and Wolff yard, which built the Titanic went into administration but it was rescued only last month.  A review by the industrialist Sir John Parker recommended that some tenders for shipbuilding work be restricted to British firms.  The goverment has suspended the international tender for naval support ships which unions want to be built in the UK.