A call to action has gone out for people to join a rally to save Appledore Shipyard from closure this weekend.
On Saturday, people will march along Bideford Quay to Victoria Park, where there will be speeches in support of the yard.
It comes after GMB Union and Unite the Union called the situation at the yard ‘more precarious by the day’ and say there are huge question marks over the future of the facility.
Workers are currently facing a four-hour-round trip to Devonport in Plymouth each day due to lack of work in Appledore’s yard, which is operated by Babcock.
The unions have set up an online petition to save the shipyard and are urging as many people as possible to meet at 10.30am in Jubilee Square on Saturday for the march at 11am.
Speakers in Victoria Park from 11.30am include mayor of Bideford Doug Bushby, mayor of Northam Kenny Davis, and Torridge District Council leader Jane Whittaker.
Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox will not be attending, but will have a representative at the rally.
Both Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox and North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones held a joint meeting this week with Babcock International chief executive, Archie Bethel.
Neither MP will be attending the rally. Mr Cox said he cannot attend due to Government business. He said: “However, the challenges facing the shipyard remain of great importance to me, and I have been working hard with colleagues from the Ministry of Defence to address these.
“The Government will do all it reasonably can, but what it cannot do is replace a commitment by Babcock to the yard.
“To this end, I have sought assurances from Archie Bethel, Babcock International’s Chief Executive, over its future, and he has stated that the Babcock Group is doing all it can to ensure that the workforce at Appledore remains engaged and employed.
“I remain committed to doing everything I can to safeguard Appledore Shipyard.
North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones added: “Sadly I’m unable to attend the rally in Bideford, but Geoffrey and I will continue to ensure that the voices of Appledore shipyard workers, their families and the wider community are being heard at the highest levels.”
Sign the petition at: change.org/p/save-appledore-shipyard.