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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 October, 2004, 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK
Shipyard workers given fresh hope
A Tyneside shipyard could get a jobs boost if it wins a major contract to decommission old warships.

Recent closures at AMEC and A and P Tyne in Wallsend have led to fears over the future of hundreds of jobs.

But on Saturday Swan Hunter shipyard boss Jaap Kroese confirmed he is hoping to secure a contract to decommission 30 old warships.

The Wallsend yard currently employs 1,500 workers. Mr Kroese believes the contract would provide two years' work.

He said: "We are hopeful of getting a share of the work that is available and I am having a meeting with the Warship Support Agency next week.

"If we are successful the work would last a couple of years providing a boost to the region."

Empty order books

Mr Kroese, who invested his personal fortune to resurrect Swan's and bring shipbuilding back to the Tyne, said the yard has enough work to keep it going until 2006.

The news comes just a week after one of Tyneside's most historic shipyards announced it was to close next month because of empty order books.

Managers at the 130-year-old A&P Tyne in Wallsend are moving the yard's 350-strong workforce to their more modern site in Hebburn.

Managing director at the yard, Fred Newman said jobs would "inevitably" go, but the number has not yet been revealed.

Two months ago Amec took its Wallsend yard out of operation.



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SEE ALSO:
Shipyard shuts as orders dry up
27 Sep 04  |  Tyne/Wear
Shipyard drought threatens jobs
01 Sep 04  |  Norfolk
Navy warship production under way
26 Aug 04  |  Scotland


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