THE start of work on a second Royal Navy frigate at Babcock in Rosyth was celebrated this week with a steel-cutting ceremony.

The event marked the official start of HMS Active's build programme, which is part of a project to deliver five Inspiration Class warships.

Coming just 16 months since steel was cut on the first ship, HMS Venturer, Babcock welcomed senior guests from the UK Government and Royal Navy, alongside international industry, to witness the traditional shipbuilding tradition.

Also attending the ceremony were veterans from the former Royal Navy Type 21 frigate and namesake HMS Active, which played a key role in the Falklands conflict.

A key component of the UK’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, the Type 31 programme will support a direct UK workforce of around 1,250 people, including 150 apprenticeships and a further 1,250 people in the supply chain at the height of the programme.

Additionally, Babcock has created 250 new Production Support Operative (PSO) roles to support the programme and beyond, with a focus on recruiting people who are not currently in education, employment or training, with recruitment undertaken in conjunction with Fife Council, Fife College and local employability programmes.

Babcock’s chief executive officer, David Lockwood, was "immensely proud" to be marking another key milestone in the programme.

"The first cut of steel for HMS Active is a momentous occasion for this critical UK defence programme as we put another ship into production," he said.

"The Type 31 programme is a game-changer in the delivery of naval platforms, and we are already witnessing the tangible benefits that the programme will deliver; not just the emergence of a fleet of cutting-edge frigates for the Royal Navy, but also increased employment, new technologies and infrastructure investment.

“It’s a real honour to share this occasion with Minister for Defence Procurement, Alex Chalk; and Andrew Bowie, Minister for Export; our workforce, our customers and our partners.”

Mr Chalk KC said the Type 31 programme would deliver key warships for the Royal Navy and continue to support British industry through national shipbuilding.

“This work delivers growth across the country, supports thousands of jobs, and showcases the strength of the union. This is great for Scotland and great for defence," he added.