GMB, the union for shipbuilders, has the welcomed reports of hopes for the reopening of Appledore Shipyard.

The news follows a high level meeting convened by Torridge MP and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox at 10 Downing Street on Friday, September 27 with the Government's taskforce dedicated to reopening the shipyard.

Afterwards Mr Cox said he was 'cautiously optimistic' about its future and was hopeful the yard could reopen.

Earlier this month, shipyard workers learned the 'bittersweet' news that former owners Babcock had been selected as the preferred bidder to provide the Government with five Type 31 frigates.

The GMB said it had campaigned to save the yard since the closure was announced last year, handing in a 10,000 strong petition to Parliament, and suggesting several plans to keep the shipyard viable.

Ross Murdoch, GMB national officer and CSEU (Confederation of Shipbuilding & Engineering) national chairman, said: "This historic shipyard has been mothballed for six months due to a lack of the right business plans and inaction by the Conservatives, with a proud workforce deprived of their livelihoods.

"We have been closely involved with the South West Business Council's Appledore Taskforce, and whilst we are concerned the government may be slightly premature by making the announcement today, we are of course pleased with the progress that has been made.

"GMB and sister CSEU trade unions have worked tirelessly with South West Business Council to get this iconic shipyard reopened and this world-class workforce back in secure and stable employment.

"By making the political choice to go public with this news today (which other parties had decided not to do just yet until we had more certainly) it's now incumbent on government to make sure this does get over the line. We await further developments and will continue to work hard to get the gates back open at the shipyard."

Jake Mclean, GMB union rep at the shipyard, said: "On behalf of the workforce, we are happy to hear this news today. Reps from the yard have been working tirelessly for the past 18 months to save and reopen our historic yard.

"This announcement will be met with excitement by the whole community. Appledore shipbuilders - myself included - can now look forward to the future again."

READ MORE: Hopes Appledore shipyard could reopen after top level government meeting.