Submarine forges city links

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A New Royal Navy submarine has been officially tied with Leeds.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Gerry Harper was in attendance as the new member of the Royal Navy fleet was officially affiliated with the city.

This follows a naming ceremony held at BAE Systems Maritime in Barrow-in-Furness that saw Astute-class submarine ‘HMS Audacious’ unveiled in front of a small, select audience.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds has spoken of the city’s pride.

Councillor Harper said: “It was a great honour to be invited to the naming ceremony of HMS Audacious which is the latest Royal Navy vessel to be affiliated with the city of Leeds.

“Leeds is proud to have a long and historical association with the Royal Navy and HMS Audacious follows in the illustrious footsteps of Ark Royal IV which represented Leeds for 25 years.”

Leeds’ links with Royal Navy warships date back to Ark Royal III which was ‘adopted’ by the city shortly before she was sunk in 1941.

In response the people of Leeds raised nearly £9m to build a replacement which came in the form of Ark Royal IV, the famous Audacious-class carrier which served for a quarter of a century.

Following the decommissioning of Ark Royal IV in 2010, the famous name has been in abeyance, which meant until now, Leeds was shipless.

Now after six years without one of Her Majesty’s warships to take under their wing, the people of Leeds once again have an official bond with the Royal Navy.

In total, Leeds has been associated with a succession of HMS Ark Royals for seven decades, with HMS Audacious being the latest in a long-line to now represent the city.

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