Sadly, Babcock International has today announced it has taken the difficult decision to exit operations at its Appledore facility in Devon, ending its site lease in March 2019. This means the end of Appledore’s historic shipyard. This despite a £60m lifeline offered by the MoD to secure employment for the workforce. It has been described as a ‘hammer blow’ for Torridge and the North Devon economy, one of the poorest areas in the country.
Babcock says its focus is now firmly on its workforce and its determination to protect their employment within the business. To that end, the company will offer relocation opportunities for all 199 Appledore employees at other Babcock facilities, 140 of whom are already on short-term redeployment to its Devonport operations.
Babcock very much regrets having to take this course of action and recognises the impact it will have on its dedicated and professional workforce. The company will now engage in a consultation period, working closely with its employees and their Trade Unions representatives during this difficult time.
In 2017/18 Appledore generated around £24 million of the Group’s total underlying revenue of £5.4 billion.