RFA Tidespring, the first of four new support ships for the Royal Navy, has arrived in Cornwall for customisation, helping to support around 300 jobs at A&P Falmouth, which is the largest ship repair complex in the UK and boasts the third largest natural deep water harbour in the world.

Dr Julia Reid MEP, who represents the South West Counties and Gibraltar, said: “The contract between the Royal Navy and the A&P Falmouth sounds like a tremendous win-win for everyone.”

“The customisation work and on-going service of the tanker will sustain 300 jobs at the dockyard in Falmouth, which is fantastic news for the South West.

“For the Royal Navy, they’ll now be supported by a Tide Class tanker which will help them to maintain 24/7 operations around the globe by providing their ships with fuel, fresh water, food, ammunition and stores.”

The 39,000-tonne tanker will join the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, a civilian-manned fleet which provides support for warships, helping the Royal Navy to maintain its operations 24/7, 365 days a year, around the world.

The UK work content in the wider Tide Class programme is worth around £150 million, sustaining further jobs at 27 UK-based companies. According to the Government, the project is being delivered well within budget by the MOD.