THE announcement on Thursday that Babcock has been awarded the contract to build frigates for the Royal Navy has been welcomed by local politicians as ensuring hundreds of jobs and massively benefitting the economy of West and Central Fife.

Hundreds of people from the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area work at the Dockyard.

The SNP Spokesperson for Defence Procurement, Crossgates, Hill of Beath and Mossisde MP, Douglas Chapman said “The Type 31 contracts should safeguard 450 jobs at Rosyth and give tranches of work to Ferguson Marine on the Clyde and to Harland and Woolf in Belfast.

“We have worked very hard in Parliament and lobbied incessantly to win these contracts and I am delighted that this work has paid off. Rosyth has been at the heart of the Carrier Alliance which built two of the Royal Navy’s largest ships.

“While we have been waiting a long time for this decision and lost shipbuilding jobs along the way, we have made the case that the Rosyth workforce should get some reward for delivering the aircraft carriers.

“Work will start at Rosyth immediately and I have the utmost faith in the workforce there to deliver the five ships".

Cowdenbeath MSP Annabelle Ewing commented: “This is great news for Babcock Rosyth and for my constituency. Being named preferred bidder for the Type 31 frigate contract is testament to the excellence of the workforce and their rightly deserved reputation for delivering value for money.

“This work will secure some 1250 jobs for the yard and for the supply chain, and is also expected to involve Fergusons on the Clyde.

“I would like to congratulate, in particular, Sean Donaldson, Managing Director at Rosyth and his team for their hard work and single-minded determination to win this work for Rosyth.

“Well done, too, to the unions who have been very vocal in their support.”

Councillor Altany Craik, convener of Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation, of Fife Council, welcomed the news saying: “This announcement is great news for Babcock, one of our largest employers, and for local people across Fife.

“Babcock’s achievements show that Fife has a first-class engineering skills-base, world leading facilities at Rosyth and that investing in the region can reap real business benefits. Its success story sends a strong message to other national and international companies that Fife has a lot to offer.

“Fife Council continues to work with Babcock and other landowners in showcasing the world leading facilities, capabilities and companies on the Rosyth Waterfront.”