An evening at The Thatched Inn

A record turnout, with two new members inducted

The Thatched Inn Meeting

The Bideford Rotary met on Thursday 27th July for an evening meeting at The Thatched Inn, Abbotsham.

There was a record turnout for this event with 27 Rotarians and 7 guests present. First was the induction of two new members, new to Bideford and new to the country, having recently resided in America.

President Morgan inducted both Michael Gloor and Sam MacGregor.  All present warmly welcomed them both into Bideford Rotary.



Following the induction of new members, Tom Hart gave a presentation overview on the shipyard. 



Tom has now worked at the shipyard for two years.  

The H&W Appledore shipyard reopened in 2020, and Tom joined in August 2021 to develop and get the shipyard operational. When he joined, there were only 34 employees,  within 2 years, the shipyard has become fully operational, and employee numbers had increased to 156, which included 11 apprentices.

There have been several projects in the yard since its reopening, with the regeneration of a mine hunter vessel being the biggest, which is now 50% complete.

The shipyard has a good pipeline, with H&W winning the Fleet Solid Support contract to build 3 RFA vessels starting in March 2025; in the meantime, other work continues to come in.

Another 18 apprentices were taken on this year, and they are looking to increase the workforce over the next year to around 300 employees.

The company are actively engaged in stimulating the local economy, providing jobs and utilising the local supply chain. They are interacting with local schools & colleges as well as universities for new entrants into the business.

It was great to hear this update, thank you, Tom,

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