Building work begins at RNLI lifeboat centre in Poole

Bournemouth Echo: MOVING FORWARD: Leadbitter and RNLI staff as work gets under way on a new centre where all-weather lifeboats will be manufactured MOVING FORWARD: Leadbitter and RNLI staff as work gets under way on a new centre where all-weather lifeboats will be manufactured

BUILDING work has begun to allow the RNLI to produce their all-weather lifeboats in-house at their base in Poole.

Contractor Leadbitter has successfully secured the contract on the £14.5million facility and work is now under way at the RNLI’s headquarters in West Quay Road to create the new All-weather Lifeboat Centre (ALC).

The first operations are then due to begin by winter 2014 at the station and, once it is fully up and running, the facility will save the charity around £3m annually.

It also means a boost for the Poole area, as once the centre has been built, around 90 jobs are expected to be created by 2019, joining approximately 60 current employees who will staff the ALC.

David Brook, RNLI engineering and supply director, said: “Letting the contract to Leadbitter is a significant milestone in this major undertaking for the RNLI.”

He added: “We found that fewer and fewer boat builders have the ability to meet our specialist requirements so in future we would have less control over the quality and cost.

“Bringing our lifeboat production completely in-house is vital to ensuring the future supply of fit for purpose lifeboats, and I’m confident that Leadbitter will deliver what this charity needs to ensure we have the right facility to do this.”

Each year, the new ALC will go on to produce six new all-weather lifeboats, refit seven to double each vessel’s operational life, and maintain many of the 160 vessels in the current all-weather fleet.

The Shannon class all-weather lifeboats to be built at the new facility currently cost around £2million each and the charity says that it will need to build at least 50.

Work to create the facility is expected to take around 12 months. The RNLI says that it has sourced a large amount of foundation material locally.

The organisation says it is also using recycling useable material from demolished old buildings.

Comments (2)

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8:41pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Benagain says...

Wonderful news for Poole. Maybe this will be a step towards the return of Poole's industrial heritage.
Wonderful news for Poole. Maybe this will be a step towards the return of Poole's industrial heritage. Benagain

8:43pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Benagain says...

I am surprised that a councillor or two didn't manage to creep into the picture!
I am surprised that a councillor or two didn't manage to creep into the picture! Benagain

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