Page last updated at 18:05 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 19:05 UK

Warship contracts 'worth 390m'

HMS Dauntless
Warships were said to contribute significantly to the economy

Contracts to build warships on the Clyde are worth 392m to the economy and support a growing number of jobs, according to a new study.

The report claimed that the impact to the Scottish economy more than doubled last year, from 139m in 2006.

The Fraser of Allander Institute found that for every 100 people employed by BAE Systems in Glasgow, a further 68 jobs are supported in other industries. The contribution to gross domestic product was 107m.

The report also suggested that the contracts supported more than 132m worth of wages in the country.

BAE managing director Vic Emery said: "This research shows that the industry continues to thrive in Scotland and the thousands of people who benefited from the existence of shipbuilding on the Clyde continues to grow year on year."

The pride and social impact of the Clyde yards cannot be underestimated
Vic Emery
BAE Managing Director

The study found that BAE's Surface Fleet Solutions business supported 5,364 jobs, on top of its own 3,194 at Govan and Scotstoun.

Mr Emery said: "The level of growth we have seen in 2007 is substantial and I am delighted that our business has had such an extensive, positive impact on the country's economy.

"While the effect on the Scottish economy is hugely significant, the pride and social impact of the Clyde yards cannot be underestimated."

BAE Systems supplies hardware to the military for air, land and naval forces. It employs 97,500 people worldwide and recorded sales exceeding 15.7bn in 2007.

Govan MSP, and deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon warned that delays by the MoD in signing a new aircraft carrier contract - and putting another project out to EU tender - could still put jobs on the Clyde at risk.

"The Ministry of Defence therefore must act to secure the future of Govan and Scotstoun yards," she said.

Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Willie Rennie said the report proved how important shipbuilding jobs were to Scotland.

But he warned that defence contracts were overshadowed by the current political row over a referendum on Scottish independence.

Mr Rennie said: "Rather than seeking to wrong-foot one another over a referendum, Labour and the SNP should be ensuring stability for the defence shipbuilders which make such an important contribution to Scottish employment on both the Clyde and the Forth."

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