THE launch of a ‘one-stop-shop’ to engage businesses and the community with the opportunities around the £300m modernisation of Barrow’s shipyard has been hailed a success.
BAE Systems Submarines wants to leave a lasting legacy for people living and working in the Furness area following its massive site redevelopment programme.
In order to be more accessible to supply chain businesses, individuals and the community, BAE Systems is running a six-month pilot project using Emlyn Hughes House as an economic hub base.
The town centre venue in Abbey Road will be used to inform people about the developments and possible work opportunities on the construction programme.
There was a good turnout of people attending the launch evening on Wednesday evening to find out more.
The site redevelopment programme will transform the yard's infrastructure to ensure its capabilities are retained ahead of the Successor programme. Under its banner Foundations for the Future, BAE Systems and partners have said they are committed to using local labour and contractors whenever and wherever possible.
Representatives from BAE Systems and its partners will be available to speak to individuals and businesses from the new hub. They include framework partners include Shepherd Construction, Costain and Morgan Sindall.
Furness Economic Development Forum will be based in Emlyn Hughes House weekdays from 8.30m to 5pm. FEDF has secured funding to deliver a supply chain development project so people and businesses can acquire the skills needed for future work opportunities.
Laura Lake, a communications adviser at BAE Systems working on the site redevelopment plan will be at the hub on Mondays and Wednesdays between 3pm and 6pm, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 3pm.
Mrs Lake said: “It’s been a really busy event, we’ve been wanting to do this since our event in November. This is us engaging with the supply chain and the public about our developments. We are moving forward and the opportunities are becoming real.
“This is a one-stop-shop for individuals, business, and the community, we are making ourselves accessible to discuss local opportunities.
“Sometimes it is difficulty to access BAE Systems so as a pilot we thought we would set something up as a permanent display and engage the local community around the work we are doing on the construction programme.
“It is a once in a generation opportunity, let’s make it more visible and accessible. It will support the economic growth of the local area and for us we what to leave a legacy post the construction programme. We see the real opportunities being in employment and the skills development of the local area, we are working with partners to deliver that.”
Phil Austin, head of the site redevelopment programme for BAE Systems, said;
“It’s been a fantastic event with a good turnout. You can feel the buzz in the room.
“It is two fold, from our perspective we want to give opportunities to the local community and we want to establish the contacts to enable us to deliver.
“This is a follow on from the event in November. We are building on the relationships which have already been established. Some of our suppliers have already been out and contacted local companies.
“Suppliers can come in here for opportunities, but equally local people can come in with enquiries about the programme. It goes hand in hand with our website –www.baesystems.com/foundationsforthefuture.”
Local people are already being employed as part of the project and the partners want to encourage more SMEs to come to speak to them about packages of work.
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