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£750 million contract to deliver future submarine capability at Devonport

14 November 2023
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The Business Magazine article image for: £750 million contract to deliver future submarine capability at Devonport
Babcock's site at Devonport

Babcock, the international defence company which has dockyards across the South of England and at Warminster, Cheltenham, Bristol, Tewkesbury, Taunton, and Walsall, has announced a major infrastructure project at its base in Devonport, Devon.

The move comes after the firm was awarded a four-year £750 million contract with the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA), to deliver the infrastructure required to support and sustain the UK’s submarines for decades to come.

Babcock will deliver substantial upgrades to existing infrastructure at Devonport that will support the future capability of the Royal Navy and the UK’s Defence Nuclear Enterprise.

Babcock signs contract to support the next generation of nuclear submarines

The contract for the delivery of infrastructure to support submarine maintenance includes a dock, logistics and modern support facilities, and underpins the wider role Babcock plays in sustaining the entirety of the UK submarine fleet.

Crucial to the UK submarine programme, the contract forms part of the site-wide infrastructure upgrade programme at Devonport to enable the ongoing delivery of base maintenance periods and deep maintenance projects for current and future classes of submarine, including nuclear defuel.

Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “Maintaining the infrastructure that supports our world-leading submarine fleet is crucial.

“Delivering on our government’s priority to grow the UK economy, this significant investment will create and sustain more than a thousand UK jobs in the south-west, providing vital improvements to the dockyard that will be critical to ensuring our Royal Navy can continue to protect the UK and our Allies.”

Sir Chris Gardner KBE, CEO of the Submarine Delivery Agency said: “Investing in our vital submarine maintenance facilities in the Defence Nuclear Enterprise at Devonport is critical to our National Security.

"I am delighted to have placed the construction contract with Babcock for the delivery of dock and infrastructure for our Attack Submarine deep maintenance projects later this decade. This will ensure we deliver available and capable submarines for the Royal Navy to operate in defence of our Nation.”

David Lockwood, Babcock’s Chief Executive, said: “The work we deliver in sustaining the entirety of the UK’s submarine fleet is critical.

"This investment will ensure that we are able to continue to deliver the complex maintenance and life-extension programmes we undertake to ensure our Royal Navy can continue to go to sea safely, and able to deliver their important work in protecting our nation.”

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The construction programme is one of the largest of its kind and highlights the MOD’s investment being made at the Devonport site, the skills and capability this brings to the city and region, and the ongoing commitment to protect our nation.

"The major infrastructure programme will see a further 1,000 construction roles created as the construction phase of the programme continues to ramp up over the coming year.

Supporting Babcock on 10 Dock are delivery partners Costain and Mott Macdonald, and main works contractor Kier BAM, bringing world-class infrastructure delivery experience to this important programme.


Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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