Northern Ireland

Harland and Wolff: Belfast shipyard receives non-binding offers

Harland and Wolff crane Image copyright PA
Image caption The yard, best known for building the Titanic, was placed into administration earlier this month

The administrators of the Harland and Wolff shipyard say they have received a number of non-binding offers to buy the business as a going concern.

The yard, best known for building the Titanic, was placed into administration earlier this month.

Administrators, BDO, said there are other interested parties which may result in further offers.

BDO has agreed with the unions to extend the unpaid temporary lay-off of staff until 30 September.

"There has been a healthy level of interest with regard to purchasing the business, assets and safeguarding the existing jobs," a BDO spokesperson said.

"The administrators and the limited retained team of workers will continue to work with all interested parties as they undertake further financial and legal due diligence work in the coming weeks as every effort is made to secure a going concern sale."

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Media captionThe history of the Belfast shipyard

Unions representing workers had called for the shipyard to be renationalised.

They argued it would be cheaper for the government to keep the shipyard open.

However, the government has said the crisis is "ultimately a commercial issue".

Harland and Wolff's best known vessel is the Titanic, which was built at the yard between 1909 and 1911.

Image copyright PA/HULTON ARCHIVE/ GETTY IMAGES
Image caption The Titanic in dry dock at Harland and Wolff in February 1912

The firm had been up for sale amid serious financial problems at its Norwegian owner.

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