HC Deb 09 June 1976 vol 912 cc700-1W
Mr. McNamara

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will now make a statement on the prospects for shipbuilding on Humberside in both the private and public sector.

Mr. Les Huckfield

The Selby yard of the Drypool Group Ltd.—in receivership—was taken over by Cochrane Shipbuilders Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Towing Ltd., on 2nd June which should assure its future.

Whitby Shipyard Ltd. has negotiated with the receiver and Beverley Borough Council for the eventual takeover of the Beverley yard. It has a licence to operate within the yard from 1st June to 30th September and will assume ownership on 1st October. Work is expected to commence in July on an order for four tugs and two water carriers and will be carried on side by side with the receiver's completion of an existing order for a tug. It is expected that additional jobs will arise as a result of this arrangement.

Alexandria Dock in Hull is being used by the receiver for the outfitting of two ships, and work should last until the end of October.

It is probable that the facilities of Drypool Group Ltd. will be used in future for ship repairing. Two docks have already been sold to Yorkshire Dry Docks Ltd. and discussions are continuing on the others.

The other shipbuilders in the Hull area also build small ships. The small yards traditionally have much shorter order books and are less badly affected by the present shortage of orders than the major shipbuilders. Their prospects at the moment seem reasonable with, in general, order books extending to the end of this year and in some cases into next year.

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