Torridge’s MP is ‘cautiously optimistic’ Appledore Shipyard will reopen in the near future after a crucial meeting at Downing Street.

The Appledore shipyard meeting convened at 10 Downing Street by Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox. Picture: contributedThe Appledore shipyard meeting convened at 10 Downing Street by Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox. Picture: contributed

It follows a high level meeting convened by Geoffrey Cox at 10 Downing Street on Friday, September 27 with the Government's taskforce dedicated to reopening the shipyard.

The taskforce, led by SW Business Council chairman Tim Jones has been working with the MP since the withdrawal of operator Babcock and the closure of the yard in March this year to secure new owners and to provide the Yard with a stable future.

Mr Cox, who has met potential owners and new customers to secure their support for the Yard over recent months has said that he is now 'cautiously optimistic' about its future, particularly as the Government has announced its intention to revive British shipbuilding.

The meeting heard from the Mr Cox of the shipbuilding heritage on the Torridge and its importance to the local economy.

Mr Cox said: "This crucial meeting gathered ministers and officials from No10, and other Government departments to review the significant progress made to date and to put in place the final measures and help that the taskforce has requested to enable its plans for the Yard to reach fruition.

"The Prime Minister made clear today his personal commitment to reopening Appledore Shipyard and has assured the Taskforce that the necessary help will be given.

"This commitment has supercharged the process as we near the critical stages and I am therefore very hopeful that our months of work will lead to the reopening of Appledore Shipyard in the near future."