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Last Updated: Friday, 12 December, 2003, 07:46 GMT
Shipbuilding may return to Laird's
Cammel Laird shipyard
The council ordered work on the site to be suspended
Talks are being held to explore the viability of bringing shipbuilding back to the Cammell Laird site in Birkenhead.

The site's new owners, property developers Reddington, do not believe it would be profitable to go back to shipbuilding, and want to build a ski slope, concert arena and luxury apartments.

But Wirral council has ordered them to stop work while it investigates whether the industry could return to the area.

Talks are taking place on Friday between key parties.

The developers, council and the North West Development Agency will discuss the possible options.

Local MP Frank Field said he hopes the outcome of the meeting is positive.

Unions representing former workers at the yard will also be present.

The former Cammel Laird shipyard, before the landmark cranes were demolished
The yard's landmark cranes have now been demolished
They hope to persuade Reddington they could make ship-building work at the site.

The original shipyard closed in 1993 after 170 years of shipbuilding.

Some of the well-known ships built there include the Mauretania, HMS Ark Royal and HMS Prince of Wales.

In the mid-1990s the yard had a rebirth when a new company started leasing land on the site and eventually took over the historic name, floating on the stock exchange in 1997.

But the dream to recreate the shipyard was short-lived and the last shipworkers were laid off in August 2001.

Reddington believes the site is in a prime location for the proposed entertainment and residential development.

Mersey landmarks demolished
02 Nov 03  |  Merseyside
Leisure future for Laird yard
27 Jun 03  |  Merseyside
Cammell Laird to be mothballed
25 Jul 01  |  Business
Cammell Laird blow will end era
11 Apr 01  |  Business

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