The North East makes a key contribution to the UK’s defence. A&P Tyneside delivered blocks used in the innovative modular construction of the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers, which are being constructed in Rosyth; as well as manufacturing key parts for the Astute nuclear submarine programme in their shipyard at Hebburn, sustaining jobs and bringing work worth some £7 million to the region.
Partnerships between Defence and North East industry over the last year include:
BAE Systems Global Combat Systems’ construction and support of the Royal Engineers’ Terrier armoured combat engineer vehicle.
Cook Defence Systems Ltd’s construction of armoured vehicle tracks and support.
UK Docks Marine Services North Ltd’s support for the UK’s maritime capability across the world.
As the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is aiming to increase the share of its contracts with SMEs from 19% to 25%, the Minister led discussions with 12 companies in the Northern Defence Industries trade group (NDI) on how Defence and businesses of all sizes can work together. In particular, they looked at how to grow exports, drive innovation and support the UK supply chain.
Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said:
“The North East makes an important contribution to our national security and economy. From the Ajax armoured vehicle to our new carriers, the companies I’ve met are delivering the equipment and services our Armed Forces need to keep Britain safe.
“Here in Newcastle we looked at how the businesses based here can help make Britain one of the most innovative, most prosperous countries globally, for an economy that works for everyone.”
The Minister’s SME roundtable was hosted at Pearson Engineering’s cutting-edge Armstrong Works in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. The Works, which reopened in 2015 following a £20 million refurbishment. It is a great example of the invaluable role that northern Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are playing in the Defence supply chain.