NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — A partnership between the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia is being touted as good news for New London’s economy.

Australia has agreed to buy Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines right as Electric Boat announced it would expand its workforce.

“We look forward to working with the Navy and our industry partners to use our knowledge and expertise to support Australia’s acquisition of nuclear submarines,” Electric Boat President Kevin Graney said in a written statement to News 8.

The business has more than 4,000 designers and engineers are at the New London campus — and now looks to hire 5,700 more this year. New London Mayor Michael Passero said that even before the Australia deal, the company had more than $40 billion in contracts.

Downtown New London businesses have already seen a boost.

“EB has been a very good anchor in our community,” said David Preka, the owner of Muddy Waters Café.

The announcement has had ripple effects elsewhere, too. A new gas station will replace an empty lot across the street from The Docks on Bank Street. Passero said it’s what is driving new construction.

“People want to lie this nice lifestyle in a compact urban community,” he said.