HC Deb 24 May 1976 vol 912 cc30-1W
Mr. McNamara

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will make a statement on the current situation in the Drypool Group Ltd., indicating what assets or yards have been disposed of by the receiver; how many purchasers have received Government aid; how much and on what terms; what yards are at present the subject of discussion by prospective purchasers; to what extent these purchases are subject to Government assistance under the Industry Act or otherwise; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Kaufman

The United Towing Co. Ltd. is taking over the Selby shipyard of Drypool Group Ltd. on 1st June 1976 with an immediate investment of £500,000, and is forming a subsidiary company to run it. This is the only purchaser, so far, of a component part of the group, and a loan of £400,000 under the normal Industry Act terms has been made available to United Towing Co. Ltd. The Beverley shipyard, the dry dock complex at Hull and the firm of R. J. Shepherd Engineering Ltd. at Bridlington are the subject of discussions by the receiver with prospective purchasers. Any resultant purchasers of these parts of the group can apply for financial assistance under the provisions of the Industry Act 1972 or for any other Government assistance, and consideration will, of course, be given to any applications.

Mr. McNamara

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the present level of employment, yard by yard, in the Drypool Group Ltd.; how these figures compare with the number employed when the group went into receivership; and what further redundancies, he anticipates; and what he expects to be the time-scale for such redundancies.

Mr. Kaufman

The present employment in the component parts of Drypool Group Ltd., compared with the number employed when the group went into receivership is as follows:

Present employment Employment when Group went into Receivership
Selby Shipyard 373 400
Beverley Shipyard 149 198
Drydock and shiprepair facility at Hull 27 205
Alexandra Dock, Hull 139 159
Maritime Electrics Ltd., Hull 36 45
Shepherds Marine & Industrial Spares Ltd., Hull 6 10
R. J. Shepherd Engineering Ltd., Bridlington 54 62
Marine & Hydraulic Services Ltd 0 15

The receiver expects the following redundancies over the period shown:

  • Beverley shipyard—50 employees were declared redundant on Friday 21st May and the remainder are expected to be redundant by October, assuming no purchaser is found who will require the labour force.
  • Dry dock and shiprepair facility at Hull—Remaining employees redundant in next two weeks.
  • Alexandra Dock, Hull—Remaining employees redundant by November 1976.
  • Maritime Electrics, Hull—Remaining employees redundant by October 1976.
  • Shepherds Marine & Industrial Spares, Ltd., Hull—No plans for redundancies.
  • R.J. Shepherd Engineering Ltd., Bridlington—No plans for redundancies.

However, United Towing Co. Ltd., which is taking over the Selby Shipyard, expects to employ 70 more people there eventually.