The historic shipyard is set to close on March 15 as owner Babcock International ends its site lease. A statement from Mr Cox said he had asked Greg Clark to consider what assistance the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy could give to the yard and any potential new owner of the site. Mr Cox said: I had a constructive and positive meeting with the Secretary of State. We discussed the conditions which must be satisfied and could enable his department to help the shipyard under new ownership. Working together with Torridge District Council and the South West Business Council task force, I am hopeful that an owner committed to the skilled workforce at Appledore can be found and I will continue to engage with all interested parties to ensure this is so.