The Keep our Future Afloat Campaign (KOFAC) was formed in Barrow in April 2004 by UNITE and GMB, as a trade union and local community led group of interests in the North West of England. Its purpose is to sustain naval surface warship and nuclear powered submarine building as one of the main systems integration and manufacturing industries in the northwest of England, which generates high value employment.
The KOFAC campaign is non-political and seeks to influence industry and government leaders and shadow Ministers with well argued business cases for new investment in the industry and its skills base.
The main thrust of the KOFAC lobby campaign, is to secure:
- A steady flow of naval shipbuilding and submarine orders for Barrow and Birkenhead shipyards to provide the Royal Navy with the ships it needs
- the key skills and knowledgebase in the industry.
- Retention of UK sovereignty over naval shipbuilding and national strategic capability to design, build and operate complex warships and nuclear powered submarines for the Royal Navy;
- promote the capabilities of the defence sector as nationally important a wealth creator located in north west England
To see our full 2010-2912 Strategy and Action Plan simply click on the box to the left.
Whilst commercial shipbuilding of any significance has virtually ceased in the UK, naval shipbuilding now employs over 5,000 people directly at Barrow-in-Furness, this is around half the UK's total capability. It includes 60% of UK warship and submarine design capacity.
Barrow shipyard has the largest critical mass of naval shipbuilding skills in the north west, and arguably in the UK. The industry is Barrow town's largest manufacturing employer.
Cammell Laird shipyard builds ships and undertakes shiprepair on the river Mersey.
KOFAC exhibits regularily at political party conferences of the party in power, attends industry events and produces informed papers to support the lobby for surface warship orders and submarine orders. It also offers views on potential mergers and other forms of industrial change and promotes the sheer scale of the defence industrial supply chain so essential for providing the MoD with its conflict fighting and prevention capability.
You can find many of these in the Documents Section of this website.
KOFAC's campaigning is influential and has resulted in plaudits, for example:-
- September 2006 - Lord Drayson in said "you do realise how effective you are" when meeting the campaign team at the Labour Party Conference.
- 13 December 2005 - The Rt Hon Alun Michael MP, Minister for Industry and the Regions said “this (KOFAC) type of approach by management, trade unions and the local authority is very powerful”
- September 2004 - the then Secretary of State for Defence the Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP described the lobby as “one of the most effective defence lobbies he had come across.”
The main parts to this website are as follows:
1. Home Pages describe:
- The aims of KOFAC.
- Scope of the UK’s future warship programmes.
- Shipyard locations and capabilities.
- Barrow’s strategic role, in shipbuilding and how Barrow can help ensure the programmes are delivered on time.
- Where Barrow shipyard stands in European terms.
- Opportunities associated with the Ministry of Defence's submarine, warship and 'warlike' shipbuilding programmes.
Please click here to view our recent lobby documents.
2. Northwest Shipbuilding describes the:
- capacity and capability of the northwest of England’s shipyards.
- The contribution the region's shipbuilding resources can make to UK warship programmes and why such resources, particularly those located at Barrow in Furness, are a key part of the UK Defence Industrial Base.
- The capacity and capability of the shipyard at Barrow-in-Furness, and why it must be exploited.
3. UK Warships
- Summarises the different types of warship and submarine to be delivered for the Royal Navy.
4. Defence Policy
- The News section gives you up to the minute news about KOFAC campaign's activities, records achievements of north west England's naval shipyards and how the naval shipbuilding programmes are progressing.
- The Parliamentary News sub-section helps you find out what MPs' and Lords have said recently in Hansard and Parliamentary Reports to Select Committees.
We are delighted that Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership supports development of naval shipbuilding civil and defence nuclear activity as a key advanced engineering industry within the north west of England.
The KOFAC Secretariat is provided by Furness Enterprise Executive from their offices at Lindal Business Park, Lindal in Furness on the outskirts of Barrow in Furness, Cumbria.Tel 01229 820611 or email email@example.com