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Barrow engineers welcome funding announcement for the region

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A MAJOR investment in Barrow-in-Furness can only be good news for supply chain companies and the wider economy.

That’s the view of award-winning engineering business Forth which has one of its three Cumbrian bases in the town.

The government’s announcement of a £20m investment in the Barrow Transformation Fund is expected to create more than 8,000 career opportunities at BAE Systems, its supply chain and the region’s economy.

Forth believes the fund will help it attract engineering talent to the area as well as creating significant opportunities to support new defence projects at BAE Systems.

Robert Sneesby, Operations Manager at Forth’s Barrow office, said: “There is no doubt that BAE Systems is the hub of the local region and provides employment for a significant portion of that, so it is great to see this being recognised by the highest levels of government.

“The outputs of this commitment will also be seen through improvements in the town’s infrastructure, as well as increasing the level of work that can be cascaded down to support local SMEs. All can benefit and be rewarded for their contributions to the area and its industries.”

The initiative involves collaboration between the government and major companies like BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, EDF, and Babcock. This partnership signifies potential opportunities for SMEs like Forth to engage in partnerships or supply chain arrangements with larger companies, leading to subcontracting or service provision opportunities.

The fund aims to enhance Barrow as a place to live, work, and develop careers in the defence and nuclear sectors. Having a positive effect on the local economy, this will benefit SMEs operating in Barrow or neighbouring areas by increasing consumer spending, creating demand for goods and services, and fostering a hub of activity for Forth.

Mark Telford, Managing Director at Forth, said: “Our Barrow site provides valuable support for surrounding businesses already, but this funding will leverage many more opportunities for our talented engineers to contribute to the strength of the North West as a leader in the defence and nuclear industries.”

Last year, Forth launched Forth Fabrications in Barrow, a facility that directly supports BAE Systems’ submarine division, alongside the growing industries in the Furness region.

With at least a further £20 million investment projected for the next ten years, Forth is well-positioned to support the transformation of the region and the country’s ambitions in defence and nuclear.


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