Falmouth celebrates as A&P Group wins £239m contract

A&P Falmouth are celebrating after the A&P Group won a £239M Future In-Service Support (FISS) contract from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to refit three Bay Class RFA’s Lyme Bay, Cardigan Bay and Mounts Bay along with RFA Argus and the hydrographic ocean survey vessel HMS Scott.

Mr John Syvret CBE, Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic and Peninsula Marine Services said: "I am proud of the entire Falmouth management team and workforce on being awarded this prestigious contract, which allows the company to continue to build on the exceptional service delivered to our customer the Royal Fleet Auxiliary over many years, and will underpin the A&P Falmouth business for the next decade to come".

Gerald Pitts, managing director of A&P Defence Division is the man, who along with his experienced bid team spearheaded the A&P bid to win part of the wider £1 billion MOD contract that will in turn secure 700 jobs across many UK shipyards.

Gerald said: “Winning this contract is the culmination of two years of hard work by the bid Tteam - drawing on the reputation and experience of A&P from the collaborative relationship with the MoD - based on shared objectives.

"I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to the A&P workforce, the Cluster team and our key suppliers for their hard work over the past ten years successfully demonstrating that the Cluster contract has delivered value for money and increased availability to the Ministry of Defence.”

David McGinley, Managing Director of Atlantic and Peninsula Marine Services said: “Securing the new FISS contract is testament to our team’s unique understanding of the RFA’s requirements and is the result of a collaborative relationship with the MoD that has always been based on shared objectives. As a competitive and commercial shipyard, we will continue to provide the MoD with significant efficiency gains and cost-savings under the terms of this contract.

“We are proud of our ten-year partnership with the MoD’s Commercially Supported Shipping organisation and the achievements we have delivered to date, which include maintaining the highest level of vessel availability and delivering audited efficiency savings to the MoD. We look forward to building on this further in the years to come.”

Sarah Newton MP said: “It’s been a pleasure to support the A&P team who have worked so hard to secure these vitally important new contracts. I am delighted that with the award of these new ten year contracts not only will Falmouth continue to be the home of the RFA Bay class vessels but the new home of HMS Scott.

"Since being elected in 2010, I have been determined to ensure Falmouth’s proud and historic connection with the Royal Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary continues. I made a personal commitment to ensure that there was a grey ship in the port at all times.

"The certainty of the new ten-year contracts, worth an estimated £239 million, will enable A&P to increase investment in the port’s infrastructure. This will have a positive knock on effect for the commercial shipping work the docks undertakes and most importantly secures good quality, skilled jobs in Falmouth."

The 13 RFA ships and one Royal Navy ship were split into three different capabilities. In Lot one was Fort Victoria and one Wave Class vessel.

Lot 2 was Cardigan Bay, Lyme Bay, Mounts Bay, Argus and HMS Scott all of which apart from Scott have Falmouth as their current base port under the existing Cluster contract with the MOD.

Lot 3 comprises of the four Tide Class Mars tankers Tidespring, Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce.

Cammell Laird has won the contract to maintain and repair the new MARS Tide Class tankers.

Gerald Pitts said: “A&P was delighted to deliver the customisation, fit-out and capability assessment trials on time and to budget for all four Tide class vessels. We have ensured that the vessels are now ready to support the Royal Navy and we wish them well with their future voyages.

"This work has cemented our relationship with the MoD and helped us to re-win this exciting new FISS contract. The MARS UKCATTS contract will run until March 2019.”

The ten-year FISS contract will see A&P Group build on its long-standing relationship with the MoD and provide global maintenance support to these vessels.

The contract will be delivered by A&P Falmouth, which is already recognised as a centre of excellence for the through-life support of RFA Argus and the Bay Class vessels. A&P Group will now maintain four RFAs vessels and one Royal Navy vessel from Falmouth.

This contract will assist A&P Falmouth in making a significant contribution to the local marine sector and Falmouth economy. To date, A&P Group has carried out eight major refits and 117 maintenance packages on RFA ships, completed 39 overseas work packages and managed and installed more than 500 alterations and additions packages - all delivered 100% on time to the MoD.

The contract forms part of a wider £1bn deal that will secure hundreds of jobs at shipyards right across the country, announced by Defence Minister Stuart Andrew.

The deal covers 17 ships and will improve how spares, repairs and maintenance work are carried out.

Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: “This £1bn deal secures work for some of our world-leading shipyards into the next decade, supporting over 700 jobs for workers to ensure our ships remain at sea to defend the nation. This vital work is not only great news for our Navy, but also underlines the importance of defence to our national skills and prosperity.”