Sir David Davis cautious over BAE systems partnership


As reported by The Yorkshire Post;

“Hopes of new jobs coming to the region have been boosted by the sale of defence giant BAE’s site in East Yorkshire to private investors.

London-based private equity investment advisory firm Bridgehouse Capital has bought six BAE sites across the UK, including Brough, where hundreds of skilled jobs have been axed in recent months, Chorley in Lancashire, and Filton, Bristol.

The firm is looking to invest in facilities at the Brough BAE site, which is part of the low tax, low regulation Humber Enterprise Zone, to attract new businesses and jobs.

The defence giant has a 10-year deal to lease back manufacturing and office space there.

In a joint statement, Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis and Hull West and Hessle MP Alan Johnson said: “This may be good news for the region, because Bridgehouse seems to specialise in maximising the benefits of Enterprise Zones.

“We cannot give it an unlimited welcome until we’ve had a chance to speak to the company itself.

“We regret to say, however, that yet again BAE have inadequately consulted the people whose futures are tied up in these decisions.

“It is inexplicable that a decision which affects numerous factory sites can be carried through without first speaking to the trade unions.”

Works convenor Roy Cartwright added: “BAE didn’t put anything in to make the site attractive to encourage new business in. They have been spending money on getting our work out of the site while this new company by all accounts are going to put investment in to make it a better place. If someone comes and puts investment in that attracts work it has got to be seen as positive.”

East Riding Council’s director of planning and economic regeneration, Alan Menzies, said the announcement had “the potential for substantial job creation and (to) provide a timely boost for the local economy”.

Last December, Beverley-based Cablescan, which manufactures high performance electrical cables, became the first firm to move to the Brough enterprise zone.

In a statement BAE said the deal would see both parties “work together to deliver redevelopment plans – including delivering local employment and economic benefits”, and added: “BAE Systems is committed to maintaining a long term presence at Brough and we will continue to support the Humber Enterprise partnership in attracting other companies to the Brough Enterprise Zone in order to help stimulate economic growth and employment within the area.”

Bridgehouse said: “As a global investor involved in multiple sectors we are very positive as to the prospects of regenerating the former BAE Systems space into vibrant, new employment accommodation in partnership with BAE Systems and the local enterprise partnership.””