Of all the changes that have taken place in recent years, the loss of shipbuilding on the waterside at Southampton has surely been one of the low points.
When VT – known affectionately as ‘Vospers’ to so many people – closed for the final time and moved to Portsmouth the city lost something of its heritage if not its soul.
Now the Daily Echo can exclusively reveal that there are firm plans to bring back shipbuilding to the same site.
Shipbuilding to return to Southampton - creating 250 new jobs
The ink has yet to be placed on the deal, but if the plan to return shipbuilding to the site now adjacent to the Centenary Quay housing development, then it will bring 250 jobs and pump lifeblood into what was once considered a dead industry for Southampton.
Where there is one shipbuilder others may follow. Is it beyond hope that we will see a great revival of this once proud piece of the city’s heritage?
And while it is true that the current proposals from Oceanic Estates will not see the creation of vessels on the scale and size of those once built at VT, it is a welcome return to an ancient industry that rightly has a place on the waterside of the Itchen.