Firm’s delight as it gains gangway order

A WALLSEND company is celebrating after landing a lucrative contract to carry out work on new aircraft carriers.

Tyne Gangway secured the deal with the Ministry of Defence after Government officials were impressed with the aluminium gangways built at their site in Howdon.

Among those who witnessed the testing were Tyne Gateway’s managing director Ken McDonald and chief designer Kevin Nergaard, plus Pawan Jha of Lloyds Register and a team from BAE Systems, who are constructing the carriers at their site in Rosyth.

The aircraft carriers are expected to be completed in 2016 and 2018, with Peter Coakley, supply chain specialist at BAE, saying it was “the biggest project in Britain after the Olympic Games”.

BAE’s supply chain adviser Gordon Ralph said: “Designing tailor-made access systems is Tyne Gangway’s day-to-day business, so we had confidence that they would be able to bring this project to fruition.”

The new gangways take ten months to design and construct, with each one being capable of bearing the load of 33 people.

Mr McDonald said: “As a North East business, it’s great to have been singled out to work on a project of such national significance.

“Due to the scale of the job, business has also been seeded out to local companies including A&P Tyne, DDS Metals and AC Engineering as well as Tyne Gateway’s sister company, Lift-Rite.

“This contributes to a positive environment for trade within the region, and points to the North East’s continuing prominence as an international centre for the shipbuilding industries.”

Tyne Gangway have a history of working on the MoD’s aircraft carriers, with joint managing director Graeme Robson’s father being the ship manager at Swan Hunter.