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  1. ITV Report

Hope on the horizon for North Devon's Appledore shipyard

Ministers and business leaders met in Downing Street to discuss the shipyard's future. Credit: ITV News

Appledore shipyard in North Devon could reopen by the end of the year, with a potential buyer lined up.

The news comes after ministers and business leaders met in Downing Street this morning (27 September) to discuss how to attract new orders for ships.

The shipyard, once at the forefront of ship building in the UK, closed earlier this year, with the owners saying there wasn't enough work.

The yard was founded in 1855 and recently helped build parts of the Royal Navy's two aircraft carriers, the Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales.

But last November, Appledore's 200 staff were told the site would close, triggering a local campaign to keep the site open, with pressure put on the Government to help.

Appledore shipyard has a unique piece in the shipbuilding industry. Credit: PA

Appledore has a unique place in the shipbuilding industry. Its yard is brilliantly suited to producing the kind of small and medium vessels, off shore patrol vessels particularly, that are now in demand around the world.

I can't obviously disclose, for confidentiality reasons, some of the contracts but there are now real opportunities.

– Geoffrey Cox, MP Con, Torridge and West Devon

As yet, there is no confirmation of orders and contracts, despite talk of international interest in the shipyard.

Although waters haven't calmed for Appledore yet, the governments' involvement has ushered in a cautious optimism that it will have a future.