Cable firm secures £16M contract

CBL Cable Contractors Limited headquarter in Usworth Road, Hartlepool
CBL Cable Contractors Limited headquarter in Usworth Road, Hartlepool

A HARTLEPOOL company has clinched a £16m deal to help build the two biggest Royal Navy ships ever seen.

CBL Cable Contractors will install the first section of electrics on board the UK’s two new flagship aircraft carriers, the 65,000 tonne Prince of Wales and The Queen Elizabeth, the Mail can reveal.

An artist's impression of one of the aircraft carriers

An artist's impression of one of the aircraft carriers

It’s a contract which is worth around £8.2m on each ship and a CBL workforce of between 60 and 70 men will work on the job, mainly based at the Govan shipyard in Glasgow.

Managers at CBL have described the contract as “great for the workers, great for their families and great for the Hartlepool economy”.

CBL employs around 300 people with around 250 of them from its base in Usworth Road, in Hartlepool.

The deal will secure the futures of many of the workforce with the possibility of new jobs to come in the future, said the company’s senior contracts manager John Windram.

The first ship, The Queen Elizabeth, is due to be delivered to the Royal Navy in around 2018, with the second ship to follow soon after.

The overall contract to build them is expected to run to several billion.

“They are going to be the flagship vessels of the Royal Navy,” said Mr Windram. He said the fact that a Hartlepool company was involved in the massive deal has “got to be good news for the town.”

But he added it may also mean more jobs for the town in the future as CBL hopes to clinch more cable work on the ships.

“As the ships grow in size and workload, the opportunity for us to get more work increases,” said Mr Windram.

“If we are successful in getting other contracts and if we need to employ new labour, we will look to do that.”

Overall, the cabling part of the aircraft carrier project will eventually involve 2.6 million metres of cable.

CBL was chosen to be the electrical contractor for the first stage of electrical work by Balfour Beatty Engineering Services which in turn is working on behalf of BAE Systems on the ships.

The vessels are so huge, they are being constructed at shipyards all over the UK before eventually coming together in Rosyth to be put together, said Mr Windram.

CBL is no stranger to big deals. It is already working on orders to install electrics on four of the six Type 45 destroyers currently being built for the Royal Navy. That deal is worth £17.5m.

Previous clients have included the Wembley Stadium project, and schemes on Canary Wharf.

Mr Windram added: “We are one of the town’s biggest employers and we run projects all over the country.

“This is a Hartlepool workforce and it is a credit to the lads in the town and a credit to the company that we can provide that amount of a workforce.

“We do rely on local labour for projects away from home and the majority of our work is out of town.”

Managing Director Andrew Haygarth paid tribute to the effort and lengthy negotiations carried out by the company’s associate directors Tony Dodds, Jim Sweeney and Michael I’Anson which had helped clinch the contract for the aircraft carrier work.