FUTURE plans for Cammell Laird to design and build Royal Navy ships have been recognised in a visit from Secretary of State for Defence Sir Michael Fallon.

The Birkenhead shipbuilder intends to design and build a world leading Type 31 Frigate that will meet the Royal Navy's specification and budget - capitalising on export opportunities to Britain's international allies around the world.

Cammell Laird chief executive John Syvret CBE said it is ‘ready, willing and able’ to build five new Type 31 frigates for the budgeted £1.25billion for the Royal Navy.

Mr Syvret discussed the company’s strategy and ambition in detail with Sir Michael and confirmed that the company will be putting its full weight and resource behind the tender process.

Mr Syvret said: “We have worked hard throughout the last decade to re-establish the Cammell Laird brand, and our management and workforce have earned and thoroughly deserve their place in this competition.

"We have consistently demonstrated that we are internationally competitive, and the winning of the Sir David Attenborough is latest example of this.

"We never fail to deliver on our promise to our customers in either the commercial or naval sectors and this has been the catalyst to winning repeat business over many.

"We have a 130 acre site with world class facilities, infrastructure, skills and supply chain partners, and if we are successful in this competition it will provide us with a larger platform and opportunity to drive wealth and prosperity not just on Merseyside but across the country.

“We are extremely grateful to the Secretary of State for taking the time to visit us here again on Merseyside today.

"I would also thank him for supporting the recommendations made in the Sir John Parker report, and providing this opportunity and recognising that the commercial marine engineering sector around the UK can potentially add significant value to future UK Naval programs and the British tax payer.

"We have demonstrated to Sir Michael first hand today that as custodians of this unique waterfront infrastructure and national asset, we are absolutely committed to developing the business and broad supply chain in this sector, and that we are a driver to growth and prosperity both locally and nationally."

Sir Michael said: “We are witnessing a renaissance in British shipyards and I look forward to visiting them as our new National Shipbuilding Strategy revitalises competition across the industry.

"With their role in building the RSS Sir David Attenborough, it is exciting to see Cammell Laird’s enthusiasm to bid for the new class of five frigates for our growing Royal Navy.”