MP delighted that new Mersey Ferry will be Birkenhead built

The Member of Parliament for Birkenhead, Mick Whitley, told Birkenhead News of his “delight” at the news that the new Mersey Ferry will be built in his constituency’s famous shipyard, Cammell Laird.

Mick said, “Today’s news is one of the best Christmas gifts my town could have wished for. I am absolutely made up at the decision to build the new ferry at Cammell Laird. It will guarantee jobs, not just at the yard but in the wider supply chain and local economy. It will be a real boost to a local economy that has suffered too many blows in the past.”

The yard lost out when the government awarded the main contracts for the building of the Fleet Solid Support ships to a Spanish-led consortium.

This was despite Mick conducting a three-year campaign in Parliament to try and secure the work for Lairds and other UK shipyards.

The much-vaunted ship building strategy relaunch that saw Boris Johnson visit Cammell Laird, was a “fig leaf to disguise the Tory plans to continue the managed decline of British shipbuilding,” the MP said. Winning the contract for the new Mersey Ferry is a great riposte to those plans.

Mick Whitley said, “The plans for a new Ferry have been on the table for discussion for a number of years now. I have worked closely with Steve Rotheram, Cammell Laird boss David McGinley, and the trade unions. My ceaseless lobbying on the issue was to ensure the ferry was built in Birkenhead. To have such an iconic vessel in Merseyside built in the Netherlands was not something either me or Steve Rotheram wanted.

“I made sure all parties knew my determination to change this scenario and together with Steve worked to overcome all the procurement obstacles and legal complications that stood in the way of the boat being built abroad – but fitted out here.

“It was a long and slow process but thankfully by working together we have achieved a tremendous result. The famous Ferry across the Mersey will be built with skill and pride on the left bank of the river itself.”


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