British Shipbuilders Corporation

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British Shipbuilders Corporation was a British shipbuilding association which, as a public corporation, owned and managed almost all British shipbuilding companies from 1977 to 1983.


Overview of the shipyards in the British Shipbuilders network

The association was founded in 1977 as a result of the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act 1977 referred to, according to which all major shipbuilding companies in Great Britain were nationalized. The same law also nationalized the three leading British aircraft manufacturers and combined them in British Aerospace .

Harland & Wolff, as the only Northern Irish shipyard , was treated as a political special case and remained under its own management, despite its legal affiliation to the association.

Originally, the British Shipbuilders Corporation was divided into four industries, from 1980 there were five, merchant shipbuilding, warship building, ship design, ship repair and the offshore sector. As of April 1981, British Shipbuilders was reorganized against the backdrop of the continued decline in British shipbuilding.

In the years from 1983 onwards, the shipyards combined in the British Shipbuilders Association were re-privatized under the conditions of the British Shipbuilders Act 1983 . The various state administrative and organizational departments of the British Shipbuilders Corporation were dissolved during the 1980s.

Employment figures for selected UK shipyards

Marine and multi-purpose shipyards
shipyard 1977 1980 1984
Vickers 9,500 8,300 8,400
Vosper Shipbuilding 4,800 5,000 4,100
Yarrow Shipbuilders 5,300 5,500 5,400
Swan Hunter 11,500 9,500 7,500
Cargo shipyards
shipyard 1977 1980 1984
Cammell Laird 5,300 4,000 1,800
Govan Shipbuilders 5,600 4,500 2,200
Austin & Pickersgill 2,900 2,800 1,800
Smith's Dock 3,700 2,200 1,500
Sunderland Shipbuilders 4,600 3,800 2,000
Harland & Wolff 11,000 6,500 4,100

List of shipyards in the British Shipbuilders network


  • Stråth, Bo: The Politics of De-Industrialization . The Contraction of the West European Shipbuilding Industry. Croom Helm Ltd., Beckenham 1987, ISBN 0-7099-5401-8 .
  • Lloyds Register of Shipping (Ed.): Lloyds Register of Shipping . Appendix 1979-80. Lloyds Register of Shipping, London 1979.
  • Lingwood, John: SD14 . The full story. World Ship Society, Kendal 2004, ISBN 1-901703-64-9 (English).

Web links

  • Company description accessed on July 18, 2009

Individual evidence

  1. Stråth, Bo, The Politics of De-Industrialization , Croom Helm Ltd., Beckenham, 1987, p. 120.