THE announcement of a £400 million investment in Britain’s nuclear sea defences, safeguarding more than 8,000 jobs in Barrow and across the UK has been welcomed by Barrow’s council leader.

Dave Pidduck, leader of Barrow Borough Council, has highlighted the significance of the £400 million funding boost that was announced by the Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson on Thursday (Dec 6).

Alongside the new £25 million training academy providing bespoke training to almost 9,000 employees, including nearly 800 apprentices, this major investment will also safeguard more than 8,000 jobs in Barrow and across the UK.

Cllr Pidduck said: “This is great news for Barrow and anyone who commutes to the Borough for employment.

“Job security is really important for anyone and this commitment to continue to invest in our town is so significant.

“The defence of our country is an absolute priority and the research and development that BAE do is critical.

“We wouldn’t want to be in the situation where we are being left behind in our efforts to defend our country and it is vital we are one step ahead.

“It is a trait of people in the area not to boast about what we do and yet we build the most technically difficult machines on earth-these are even more challenging than those sent into space.

"This is fantastic news for the job prospects of the town and it is critical that we are providing our youngsters with future opportunities."

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Next year marks half-a-century since British nuclear-armed submarines began patrolling the waters in response to the danger posed by the Cold War - and the world is again facing a raft of intensifying threats.

“This £400m investment will ensure the Dreadnought programme remains on track, so we continue to have a nuclear deterrent at sea for decades to come.

“Not only does today’s news see us safeguard 8,000 jobs right now, but I have also opened a brand new multi-million-pound facility to train Britain’s submarine engineers of the future.”