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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 March 2008, 10:49 GMT
Future of Devonport raised by MP
Devonport Naval Base
More than 4,000 people are employed at Devonport
The futures of Devonport Naval Base and Devonport Dockyard will be debated in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

It follows rumours that the base could close down in five years.

In January, Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged the government's commitment to Devonport in response to fears the base faced closure through job cuts.

But local MP Linda Gilroy is seeking assurances that Devonport will have a role in the design and maintenance of Royal Navy's ships of the future.

Economic importance

The Plymouth Sutton MP will also ask Defence Secretary Des Browne if the Ministry of Defence will continue to release land for business and job creation in the city.

Devonport is the oldest naval base in Britain and contributes significantly to the economy of the South West.

The dockyard's owner, Babcock Marine, announced last month it plans to shed 600 jobs in the next year.

In the late 1980s, Devonport employed about 13,000 people. The naval base and dockyard now employs about 4,300.

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