‘Lots of work available’ for crisis-hit Harland and Wolff shipyard

Possible solutions to keep the shipyard open were discussed at the public meeting in the East Belfast Network Centre in Templemore Avenue
Possible solutions to keep the shipyard open were discussed at the public meeting in the East Belfast Network Centre in Templemore Avenue
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An array of potential construction projects exist for Harland and Wolff provided the under-threat shipyard can be kept afloat, a public meeting has heard.

About 30 people, including workers at the crisis-hit firm, gathered in the East Belfast Network Centre tonight to discuss possible solutions to save the yard.

The company, best known for for building the doomed ocean liner Titanic, entered administration last week after its parent company failed to find a buyer.

Dugald McCullough, a member of the NI Labour Party – which organised the event – said it was “informative, upbeat and positive despite difficult circumstances”.

He added: “The workers are determined to hang in there and get a positive result.”

Trade unions have called for the firm to be nationalised.

Mr McCullough said: “Nationalisation would keep the company alive, get the order book busy, and when the firm is vibrant again it doesn’t have to stay under Government control.”

Speaking at the meeting, NI Labour Party chair Erskine Holmes said he could identify a range of projects within NI that require heavy steel engineering, including contracts for new bridges over the River Lagan.

Mr McCullough added: “The shipyard built a bridge over the Liffy, and several others in Britain. The yard could also be building steel framed houses in NI, so there is lots of work out there as long as the yard stays a viable concern.”

While PUP Councillor John Kyle was in attendance, Mr McCullough said there was “deep disappointment” that more politicians did not show up to tell people what efforts they are making to help secure the future of the company.