A PROTECTIVE case designed to hold one of the engines for the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier is being built in Blackburn.

Mill Hill Heavy Engineering Ltd has been contracted to construct the huge 50-tonne case, which would be used on board the super carrier.

The three-and-a-half metre by five-metre structure has been worked on by 38 employees at the Springbank Mill site in Albert Street.

The company’s director, Austin Molloy, said it was one of the biggest pieces of machinery the business has been assigned to build.

He said: “We have dealt with naval ships before, but we’ve only ever made cases around 20 to 29 tonnes, so this is massive.

“It’s the largest we have undertaken.

“We felt excited to produce something which will be used on such a grand carrier like the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

“Like all our works, we have put 100 per cent of our time and dedication into it.

“The process is complicated and once the pieces are created it will be shipped to another location for assembly and then stored in another secret location.”

Built in 2014, the vessel is capable of carrying up to 40 aircraft and is currently carrying out sea trials before it is officially launched and put into service.

The ship is capable of accommodating 250 Royal Marines and is powered by two Rolls-Royce Marine gas turbines and four diesel engines.

It is set to be formally commissioned by the end of 2017.

Mill Hill Heavy Engineering Ltd, set up in 1978, specialise in aerospace, power and energy, chemical and water services.

Mr Molloy said: “This is one of the crucial pieces inside the ship as it helps keep the motor in place so it doesn’t move around and become damaged.

“We are only one of a handful of businesses that have the machines big enough to produce this sort of work.”