CONSTRUCTION work has started on the first stage of a major £300m project in Barrow. 

BAE Systems has announced that work has finally begun on the first part of its site redevelopment programme.

The £23m logistics facility is part of a transformation of BAE Systems’ site, which will include both new build facilities and the refurbishment of existing infrastructure in preparation for the construction of a successor to the Vanguard class.

Around 850 contractors are expected to be employed at the peak of the programme. 

National firm, Shepherd Construction, has been chosen to design and construct the 28,000m 2 building. 

The construction work signals a new phase for the Barrow company which has attracted the attention of people across the county. 

Philip Dunne, minister of state for defence procurement, said: “Barrow is the hub of submarine construction in the UK. The site has recently delivered the third of seven Astute submarines for the Royal Navy and will go on to work on our new fleet of four Successor Ballistic Missile submarines and the renewal of Britain’s nuclear deterrent; all helping to keep Britain safe.

“This investment in the logistics facility at the site is an important step towards the eight-year infrastructure upgrade programme at the yard, securing thousands of jobs and showing our commitment to increase defence spending each year for the rest of the decade.”

Paul Waller, construction director for Shepherd, added: "We have already collaborated closely with the BAE Systems team to formulate a high quality design that absolutely reflects their vision and will meet the needs of their workforce when they come to start construction of the new submarines.

"Our commitment to deliver a foundation for the future and engage with the local community is a vital element of our work with BAE Systems. We look forward to applying some of the unrivalled skills available in the local area and working together to create a facility which leaves a lasting legacy."

Allan Day, director of the site redevelopment programme at BAE Systems Submarines, believes the work is key to the future of the business. 

He said: "The new submarines we are designing present one of the most complex and challenging engineering projects we have ever tackled. The world-class infrastructure this redevelopment will provide, together with our highly skilled workforce, will be critical in delivering these submarines to the Royal Navy.”