HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia government is making more than $300 million available to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. to help it prepare for the construction of the Royal Canadian Navy’s next fleet of vessels.

The government’s financial assistance package consists of a forgivable capital loan worth up to $260 million and a repayable marine industry loan of $44 million for human resources development.

Irving Shipbuilding says it will spend between $5 million and $10 million annually on capital improvements to its operations over the next 30 years.

That money is over and above what the company is spending to build new infrastructure that’s needed to complete the project.

The Irving-owned Halifax Shipyard was the successful bidder for a $25-billion contract to build 21 combat vessels.

The contract is expected to maintain a steady flow of work at the shipyard over the next 20 to 30 years.

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