A COMPANY is set to 'strengthen' its defence presence in Barrow as the AUKUS deal progresses.

James Fisher & Sons PLC, a provider of specialist services to the marine industry, is strengthening its 177-year commitment to Barrow through a dedicated Defence presence within its company headquarters.

This strategic move comes in response to the UK's recent announcement of the Defence Nuclear Enterprise Command Paper and its support to Barrow as the existing hub of nuclear submarine building for the UK.

James Fisher has over 40 years of experience supporting defence and commercial industries, providing innovative equipment, systems and services which maximise safety and reliability in challenging underwater environments.

The company's expertise extends to the engineering, design and manufacture of complex critical equipment. It has delivered and continues to support systems on four submarine fleets, for the UK and international partners.

On Friday, April 19, the MP for Barrow and Furness Simon Fell joined an event at the offices in Barrow.

He said: “Barrow celebrated 150 years of naval shipbuilding in 2023. That is a remarkable legacy. But Barrow has a remarkable future ahead of it too, entering a new chapter with the AUKUS partnership. The town will be the backbone for the delivery of the next generation on attack submarines for the US, Australia, and the UK.

“James Fisher’s legacy is far-reaching, is tied into Barrow’s history, and reflects our status a hardworking, shipbuilding town. JFD’s commitment to Furness is therefore very welcome indeed and speaks the bright future ahead of us. This is exactly the kind of expansion in the local area that we need on the back of Team Barrow and the continued development of AUKUS.”

Headquartered in Aberdeen and Glasgow, JFD is strategically located to provide emergency response services to submarines supported by the NATO Submarine Rescue Service and commercial hyperbaric lifeboats as part of the emergency response contracts it maintains.

With additional locations in Australia and the US, the company is also positioned to support future submarine requirements, including those under the AUKUS partnership.

An 'enhanced' presence in Barrow will increase the company's connectivity with customers and enable it to provide ongoing support as the submarine enterprise embarks on the challenges of advancing submarine capabilities for AUKUS partners.

Rob Hales, JFD Managing Director said: "We are excited to strengthen our defence presence in Barrow-in-Furness, aligning ourselves more closely with the heart of submarine building and our customers in the UK.

"This development underscores our commitment to providing the highest level of support to our clients and our pledge to the future; enhancing safety for submariners in the UK and globally."