A&P Group has reached agreement with Cammell Lairds Waterfront Park to promote and use the old Cammell Laird yard at Birkenhead. The newbuilding hall, which was built during the 70s by Cammell Laird, then part of British Shipbuilders, was, at the time of construction, one of the most modern covered newbuilding slipways in Europe. In the hall Cammell Laird built a number of vessels for the Royal Navy as well as commercial vessels such as the STAFF tankers. At that time it was destined to make Cammell Laird one of the most sophisticated newbuilding companies throughout the world. However, the newbuilding industry in the U.K. collapsed - with the majority of the world's ship owners looking to the Far East (Japan and South Korea) for new ships at half the price. Following the collapse of British Shipbuilders, BAe took over the ownership of the facility and used it as a module builder for its main yard at Barrow-in-Furness. Although unused for shipbuilding since those days, the facility was maintained and utilized on many occasions for fabrication of modules and sections for other U.K. shipbuilders and repairers still active in the newbuilding and conversions industries.
Although the name Cammell Laird was resurrected as a shiprepairer during the 90s, it was unable to sustain a long-term future and thus closed, with A&P taking over the repair facilities during early 2000.
The covered facility, since the closure of Cammell Laird, was to be part of the local ''waterfront' development, which includes a snowdome facility. However, meanwhile, an agreement has now been reached between The Cammell Lairds Waterfront Park and A & P Birkenhead whereby A&P Birkenhead will
be the 'preferred' user of the facilities to explore the market for ship building
. Reddington, the owners of the Cammell Lairds Waterfront Park, said this marketing research by A & P will run in parallel with the master planning exercise for the regeneration of the area.