Labour candidate and VIP’s fact-finding visit to Hebburn yard

YARD VISIT ... Stephen Hepburn, left, and Vernon Coaker, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, at A&P Tyne in Hebburn.
YARD VISIT ... Stephen Hepburn, left, and Vernon Coaker, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, at A&P Tyne in Hebburn.

THE nation’s defence was on the agenda when Jarrow’s Labour Parliamentary candidate accompanied a would-be government minister on a tour of a successful South Tyneside business.

A&P Tyne, on the Wagonway Road Industrial Estate in Hebburn, specialises in the design, fabrication, installation and commissioning of seabed-to-surface projects.

Last year it successfully completed part of a £60m aircraft carrier contract for the Ministry of Defence.

Stephen Hepburn invited Vernon Coaker, Labour’s shadow defence secretary, to visit the yard to see at first hand the work being carried out there.  

Andy Shaw, A&P’s group managing director, said he was able to highlight to his guests his company’s success in rapidly turning around contracts.

He said: “The future of the defence sector is hugely important to A&P Group, given that we continue to deliver multi-million pound contracts for the Ministry of Defence and see this as a growth area across the group going forward.

“We are contracted across a broad range of defence projects including the MoD Aircraft Carrier build programme, the Astute Class Nuclear Submarine programme and through-life support of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

“We are recognised as being able to turn major defence contracts around in a timely and cost-effective manner and it was good to have the opportunity to convey this to the shadow minister and Stephen Hepburn, while stressing the important role that businesses with exemplary track records like A&P Group play in supporting the defence sector.”

The other candidates in Jarrow are: Stan Collins (Lib Dem), Norman Hall (TUSC), Nick Mason (Conservative), Steve Harrison (UKIP), David Herbert (Green).