Administrators give Titanic shipyard extra week to find buyer

Workers have occupied the site for two weeks

Friday, August 9, 2019

The Belfast-based shipyard which built the Titanic has been given an extra week to find a buyer.

Several potential bidders have reportedly expressed an interest in buying the Harland and Wolff shipyard, which went into administration at the start of the week.

Administrators BDO Northern Ireland say they have agreed to a "temporary" lay-off of the workforce for a one-week period, to enable those potential commercial opportunities to be explored.

Workers will not be paid during that time, but will not face redundancy.

However, a small number of the workforce have chosen to take redundancy.

Fuelled by donations and support from the public, workers have been occupying the site round the clock for almost two weeks as part of a high-profile campaign to save the shipyard.

A spokesman for BDO NI said: "In light of insufficient funds to cover the current running costs of the business and in the absence of any other funds being available at this point, in conjunction with unions the administrators have agreed to facilitate an unpaid temporary lay-off until Friday August 16.

"This provides a limited additional time for all parties to pursue any potential opportunity to find a commercial basis to continue the business as a going concern."

The shipbuilder employed more than 30,000 people during the Belfast's industrial heyday, but the current workforce only numbers around 125.

It has diversified away from shipbuilding in the last two decades and until recently had primarily worked on wind energy and marine engineering projects.

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