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UK coastguard agency gives two offices reprieve from closure

The UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) will be closing four marine survey offices instead of an originally planned six, following a consultation process.

Following a review of the way the MCA carries out surveys and inspections two offices originally marked for closure – Beverly and Plymouth – are to remain open. However, offices in Tyne, Harwich, Norwich and Orpington will all close as originally planned.

The offices in Beverly and Plymouth will be main marine office hubs along with Belfast, Liverpool, Aberdeen, Cardiff and Glasgow. A new marine hub office will open in the Colchester/Ipswich area. Meanwhile Dover, Falmouth and Milford Haven will be satellite bases.

The proposals have been approved by the MCA executive board.

“We have consulted widely with our staff and external customers in coming to these decisions. The MCA is and remains committed to the highest standards in upholding maritime safety throughout our areas of responsibility: UK-wide and indeed globally.  This transformation programme will greatly help us to achieve that,” said Sir Alan Massey chief executive of the MCA.

Katy Ware, MCA director of maritime safety and standards, said: “We understand that people might be worried about the future but we have assured both our surveyors and staff that we will continue to work with them as the change programme moves forward. People matter in this agency and we are committed to making sure we continue to act with that in mind.”

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