Keep Our Future Afloat (KOFAC) seeks to educate and raise public awareness about the value of the UK submarine and naval shipbuilding industry its skills and supply chains by highlighting the contribution they make to national security, social and economic benefits in communities that host, build and operational activity.

KOFAC continues to evolve as a unique collaborative, independent, initiative engaging the public at every opportunity. It is led by Unite and GMB trade unions with Councils, local industry, communities and BAE Systems Maritime Submarines support. A small Secretariat assists delivery. It robustly researches so as to influence and inform debates, decisions and priorities.
KOFAC is a strong enduring brand with a reputation for being effective, speaking on defence, procurement, industrial skills, regeneration and infrastructure priorities.

Sustain, grow highly skilled jobs in Northwest England’s submarine and naval shipbuilding industrial base and its supply chain companies.
Secure full utilization of the unique naval submarine and warship assets in the UK submarine and shipbuilding industrial base supply chains so as to drive prosperity.
Sustain naval submarine, large warship design and production capability at Barrow and in NW England’s shipyards whilst making a case for strategic investment in infrastructure and skills.

Raising awareness of its scale and priority to deliver 4 Dreadnought Class boats to sustain the Royal Navy’s “Operation Relentless”.

Promoting to local, national and global audiences awareness of the craft skills, science, innovation used in Dreadnought, SSN-AUKUS and Astute Class submarine programmes locally, with US and Australian areas and companies as well as increasing opportunity for people to benefit from highly skilled employment to well beyond
2050. Educating, informing, advising on the scale and location of regeneration, education, and skills development needed alongside road, rail, sea, air transport, housing, healthcare, infrastructure to service the need to accommodate up to 7,000 more skilled workers in our communities.

We strive towards a sustainable outcome which sees Barrow shipyard, its national and international supplier base sustaining a core workload, skills, UK sovereign technologies, innovation to deliver world class products for the Royal Navy to deliver its defence tasks at the same time as enabling Barrow to evolve into a “Northern Powerhouse.”

KOFAC now in its 20th year it is seeking to transform its status to enable it to do more, soundly financed, engaging young people, local communities, industrial sector groups, national and regional industrial leaders to further public interest in naval shipbuilding industry.
At a time of challenging global tensions full of uncertainty with new stronger international defence alliances emerging KOFAC continues to focus on enabling more people understand how naval industrial capability underpins UK, NATO and the tri-nation AUKUS defence activity. A current priority is to enable anticipated shipyard and supply chain growth to benefit workforces, families, and create prosperous communities.

We hope you are spurred on to support its work.
Azza Samms, Chairman, October 2023


To Advance KOFAC’s aims and objectives by resourcing the campaign efficiently.
To undertake research and Inform the public, industry and trade union and community leaders of the need to sustain a flow of orders to the naval submarine and warship building industrial bases in order to deliver the capability the Royal Navy and RFA needs.

To support the attraction and integration of skilled people into Barrow and Furness alongside growing our own skills to boost educational aspirations and meet the needs of the submarine supply chain.

To engage with the Nuclear Skills Taskforce, national shipbuilding Office, Dreadnought Alliance, BAE SYSTEMS, Submarine Delivery Agency Cumbria local Skills Investment Plan champions and supply chain companies to encourage take up of career opportunities in highly skilled jobs with good salary levels that high technology, digital shipbuilding offers to people of all ages. To promote the role of Barrow shipyard in North West England in delivery of design, build, test, commissioning of nuclear-powered submarines and Cammell Laird’s roles in meeting needs of large complex warships, RFA vessels and submarine supply chain support.

To highlight the progress of:

• Delivery Phase 3 of the 4 boat Dreadnought Class Submarine Programme,
• 7 Astute Class submarines,5 of which are currently operational
• SSN AUKUS submarines design and build
• P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol ASW Aircraft
• Unmanned Underwater Vehicles
• BAE Weapons activities

  • To support international defence collaboration where this fits with UK defence priorities.
  • To engage widely to support regeneration and Investment in new infrastructure including road, rail, sea, air transport, housing, education, skills and capacity building, healthcare improvements needed to support the influx of people, businesses needed in communities hosting the industry.
  • To draw attention to future submarine, warship capability risks if future workload gaps were to arise.
  • To continue to work with CSEU, Unite and GMB trade unions to further investment in skills and technology for submarine and shipbuilding.
  • To attend conferences, other events and publish information to convey our research and core messages

”Our adversaries cannot replicate the skills we have in Barrow or the expertise of our submariners and they may well be the deciding factor in a future conflict.” Submarines can remain undetected even when very close to an adversary’s coastline, enabling covert eavesdropping of communications, the deployment of special forces or the launch of advanced technology such as reconnaissance or suicide drones.”

Ben Wallace MP, Secretary of State for Defence, 22 September 2022



Read more


Read more


Read more


Read more

For further information please contact
The Secretariat, Keep Our Future Afloat,
28, Lancaster Street, Dalton in Furness LA158SD

Call: 07836 254721


© Copyright KOFACAll rights reserved.

Website designed by Furness Media.