A management team has made an offer to buy Cammell Laird's Tyneside shipyard, handing a lifeline to hundreds of workers fearing for their jobs. The news emerged one month after a former Cammell Laird boss made a bid - later accepted - for the struggling company's Teeside yard. A spokeswoman for receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said it also expected another management offer - this time for the Birkenhead unit - in the next few days. "I don't think for one minute that these management buyout teams would be putting in these bids unless they felt they could win new work," said GMB union spokesman Jimmy Skivington. PwC declined to give details of the offers received.
Eric Welsh, a former Cammell Laird director, led the buyout of the Teeside yard. The Teesside deal itself following an agreement to sell Cammell Laird's Gibraltar yard to managers. Cammell Laird called in the receivers on 11 April, blaming a u-turn by cruise firm Costa Crociere over a £50m ship lengthening deal for much of its financial problems. "The direct and indirect impact of Costa's actions have been very damaging," Cammell Laird said in a statement at the time. The government's decision to award a shipbuilding contract to a German company and Belfast-based Harland & Wolff, and problems involved in bidding for a separate deal, were additional factors in Cammell Laird's decline, the announcement said. "The group's shipyards were the only major facilities in the country not to benefit from government orders," the company claimed.