Shipyard that built Titanic to go into administration

The Titanic was built at the shipyard

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Belfast-based shipyard that built the Titanic is set to go into administration.

Harland and Wolff will formally cease trading at 5.15pm today, after its Norwegian parent company Dolphin Drilling failed to find a buyer.

Workers have been protesting at the site since July 29 in an effort to save it, and they will meet this afternoon to decide whether to continue the occupation and prevent administrators accessing the site.

They have called on the government to step in and save the site, pitching the idea of nationalisation, but it has declined to intervene, insisting the issue is a commercial one.

Workers will meet with DUP leader Arlene Foster to discuss the situation later today.

The Shell tanker Myrina being assembled at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in 1967

There has been unfounded speculation that an eleventh-hour bidder could save the site, but nobody has tabled an offer yet.

The shipbuilder employed more than 30,000 people during Belfast's industrial heyday, but now has a 125-strong workforce.

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

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn joined in calls for the government to step in when protests began last week.

He tweeted: "I know how vital Harland and Wolff is to Northern Ireland. With it now facing closure, Boris Johnson must listen to the workers and back Labour's call to take it back into public ownership, so £1bn of shipbuilding contracts can be delivered in the UK."

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