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The Keep our Future Afloat Campaign {KOFAC's} is an experienced highly effective trade union and local community led,  information Campaign.  Its focus is on delivery of a compelling business case for new UK naval submarine and shipbuilding orders.The organisation is non-political,Barrow Borough Council acts as its accountable body.

KOFAC's vision is for a world class Royal Navy protecting the nation, the sea lanes on which Britain's trade depends  supported by a sustainable submarine and warship industrial base and the skills it employs.

The strategic defence rationale for the campaign's approach to the delivery of the campaign is that a steadty flow of orders for warships and submarines will help the Royal Navy have the capacity/capability to keep open the sea lanes on which UK trade depends.It will also sustain the strategic deterrent carying submarine capability and the ability to deploy attack submarines.

Today, the numbers employed total around 8,000.

Barrow shipyard is also currently the hub for the UK's submarine industrial base, comprising some 1,000 plus companies,located in 444 UK towns and cities with work on 4, of a planned 7, Astute class attack submarines and up to 4 successor class submarines are being progressed in collaboration with interests in USA.Three Astute class submarines have already been delivered to the Royal Navy.

KOFAC sponsors are UNITE,GMB,Furness Enterprise,Furness Economic Development Forum, Barrow Borough Council,Cumbria County Council. KOFAC also works with CSEU and its national Successor Group.

KOFAC emerged in 2004 at Barrow shipyard, in NW England,  as a focus for sustaining shipyard skills and developing a long term future for the shipyard.That was at a time when the workforce tiotal had shrunk from 14,400 in 1990 to 2,900 in 2004. The aim then was to secure work which would in turn secure a sustainable future for the shipyard at Barrow and its nationwide supply chain.

KOFAC's main focus is on demonstrating that the UK's ultimate national security over the coming decades depends on investment in new submarines and warships ,growth of the skills required to build and operate and maintain the fleet. It therefore is concentrating on:
- advocacy to support the business case for Successor deterrent Main Gate approval, in 2016
- making the case for 4 new replacement submarines to be built to deliver continuously-at-sea deterrent patrols
- continued build of a fleet of 7 nuclear powered Astute class attack submarines 
- development of a follow on class of attack submarines 

The trade unions firmly believe that nuclear submarine construction and naval shipbuilding orders must be undertaken in British Shipyards.

KOFAC's aims are to:

- Sustain and grow jobs in naval shipbuilding in north west England

-  Secure full utilization of the unique assets found in the Northwest of England's naval shipbuilding industrial base, the shipyards  at  Barrow and Birkenhead and their supply chain of hundreds of companies.

-  Sustain the majority of the UK's naval ship/submarine design capability, which is located  in Barrow and complemented in terms of ship repair by capability at Birkenhead shipyard.

KOFAC policy is to : 

  • influence the level of Government funding available for naval warship and nuclear- powered submarine programmes and influence shadow Ministers, industry leaders and the general public by briefing them on the campaign's aims;
  • support the shipbuilding industries effort to design, build and deliver affordable warships or submarines;
  • promote the achievements being made by Barrow and Birkenhead shipyards and their supply chain  partners;
  • highlight achievements in the naval defence sector and demonstrate the scale and effectivness of the nationwide supply chain.

In 2010 KOFAC welcomed the Government's Strategic Defence Review.
In 2011 it welcomed the Successor deterrent submarine Initial Gate Approval on 18 May 2011
It is contributing to the Strategic Defence and Security Review of 2015 and the National Security Strategy 2015.
It now looks forward to a new government approving Main Gate in 2016 .

KOFAC is a strong supporter of Government retaining Britain's sovereign capability to design, build nuclear powered submarines and provide their through life support.It also advocates replacing the existing Vanguard class,trident missile carrying, boats with a new 4 boat fleet at an estimated cost of cost of £15-20billion. 

You can follow the camapaign progress here,through our press releases, on our twitter page @NWShipBuilding,  at various conferences and events including our annual submarine supply chain day when we take the campaign to the heart of Government in the House of Commons at Westminster.

If you wish to support the campaign or get in touch with it's Secretariat please contact stuart@fedf.co.uk or telephone 07836254721 or 01229314100






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Contact Us

Emlyn Hughes House,
Abbey Road,
Barrow in Furness,
Cumbria LA145PQ

Tel: +44 (0)1229 314100

Email: stuart@fedf.co.uk

KOFAC Sept Newsletter
Keep Our Future Afloat
The Future Aircraft Carrier
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"Barrow remains an untapped source of production capability and could... play a significant role in the coming shipbuilding programme."

Source: Rand, page 153 The UK's Naval Shipbuilding Industrial Base (2005), Report to UK MoD

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