Belfast shipyard Harland and Wolff that built the Titanic is saved from closure in £6m rescue deal | Weekly focus #UKmfg

This week’s MFG Focus starts off with Harland and Wolff, the Belfast shipyard that built the Titanic. The company has recently been saved from closure after a London-based energy company stepped in with a £6m rescue deal.

The historic shipyard, which also built the HMS Belfast cruiser, now permanently moored on the Thames as a museum, went into administration in August after its Norwegian parent company collapsed.

Employees have spent the week reeling from the news, filling out redundancy forms and attending job fairs, before descending on Ballymena Showgrounds on Wednesday afternoon.

Wrightbus workers were joined by some of those from the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast who have been relieved that it has been saved by a buyer, but who wanted to show solidarity.

Other topics include –

– The UK government has vowed to back certain areas of British industry with considerable funding streams that could mean greater job security and improved routes to market for innovative manufacturing companies. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and Chancellor, Sajid Javid, outlined investment pledges for both the life sciences and UK infrastructure at the start of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

– A proposed spaceport would be built on an “extensive” site in a relatively “untouched landscape”, according to a planning report. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is heading up the Space Hub Sutherland project. Ahead of seeking planning permission in December, HIE has given Highland Council notice of what is proposed.

– A UK manufacturer, responsible for a step change in air compressor technology, has joined forces with a prominent British engineering group to launch a state-of-the-art digital manufacturing facility. Lontra, the pioneering company behind the Blade Compressor – the first clean-sheet compressor design in nearly a century – has opened a purpose-built manufacturing centre in Napton, Warwickshire, in partnership with Shield Group Engineering.

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