Fife Council welcomes Babcock investment

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Fife Council has welcomed an upcoming investment from shipbuilders Babcock International at Rosyth Dockyards.

At Full Council, vice-convener of the economy and tourism committee SNP Councillor John Beare, said they welcomed the news of the recent £1.3bn contract awarded to the company to build five type 31 Royal Navy frigates.

Cllr Beare added: “It will help create and safeguard jobs at Rosyth.

“It is understood that the formal signing of the contract will also signify further investment by Babcock with an upgrade in facilities and infrastructure at Rosyth, and council officers are already in discussions regarding the details of this investment through planning and building standards.

“The investment will facilitate modern methods of construction which should support Fife’s innovative strategy to become a leading centre for industry.”

Conservative Cllr Tony Miklinski followed up, asking: “What do you think the impact on the prosperity will be on the day you get your way and Scotland is a foreign country to the rest of the UK, and the Westminster government decides to maintain its current policy of placing its orders for its military shipping in its own country?”

Cllr Beare responded: “If I’d known you’d wanted to redo a debate which took place in 2014, happy to take that to another place. I suppose I should say the MoD is building its fleet solid support ships – I can’t remember if it’s South Korea or Spain.

“But could I point out that an independent Scotland is likely to have to build navy ships of its own. Our colleagues across the water in Norway and Denmark have navy’s with six frigates, more than what is being assembled at Fife.

“We also need to point out that our colleagues across the water have a ship building industry that is diversified, and not reliant on a single customer, which I’m afraid north of the border is where we’re tended to be.”

He added: “A wider view would be that there are opportunities for Scotland going forward.”