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Prime Minister writes open letter on the end of shipbuilding in Portsmouth

David Cameron has written an open letter to the people of Portsmouth pledginghis support after last year's announcement that shipbuilding will cease in the city. In November, BAE announced more than 1,000 job losses when its current work to build the next generation of aircraft carriers finishes.

In the letter, he said the cost of BAE continuing to build ships in the city was "unaffordable" but his Government would do everything in its power to help win new business for the south coast city.

Prime Minister writes an open letter about end of shipbuilding in Portsmouth Credit: ITV Meridian

David Cameron wrote: "For centuries shipbuilding in Portsmouth has been woven into thehistory of Britain. It is a tradition of which the whole country is rightly proud - and Icompletely understand the intensity of feeling here is stronger still.

I make this pledge to you today: this government will do everything we can to protect the future of the shipyard and the livelihoods of the people who work there. In the months ahead we are going to go all out to make sure that it remains strong, successful, and respected around the world."

Council backs 'Save Our Shipbuilding' petition

Portsmouth City Council is fighting to keep shipbuilding in the city by backing an online petition.

BAE Systems announced the end of shipbuilding in Portsmouth with the loss of 940 jobs. Protestors say another 2,000 jobs in the area could be lost from suppliers who are dependent on the shipyard.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson is forming a task group to tackle the consequences of the shipbuilding decision, and local leaders have also asked for government support for this.

I talked to Dr Cable about the shipyard issue and what we can do to try to protect jobs. One idea I want the government to consider is that one of the Royal Navy's three new offshore patrol vessels could be built in Portsmouth.

– Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of the Council

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Rally to save Portsmouth Shipyard

Portsmouth residents attend rally to save the city's shipyard

Scores of Portsmouth residents turned out to back a rally in support of saving the city's dockyard and the 940 BAE jobs there currently at risk.

The firm made an announcement earlier this week that it would begin closing the site next year. The proposal would see the end of centuries of shipbuilding in the city.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

'Heart of Oak' opens at Chatham Dockyard

They were the force that made Britain great. The wooden warships ships built at Chatham in the 1700s were unstoppable and helped create the British Empire. Now a new multimedia exhibition at the dockyard is celebrating their history and bringing it to life with digital technology.

David Johns reports, talking first to Preservation Officer Richard Holdsworth then actor Dave Norman.