UK Government scheme shot-in-the-arm for shipbuilding

It is expected to generate a range of new projects, creating hundreds of jobs and creating fresh stimulus in the shipbuilding sector.

As part of the £4bn National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh plan, the Scheme comes at a key moment for the UK’s shipbuilding and repair sector, which contributes £2.8bn to the UK economy and supports around 42,000 jobs. The SCGS is expected to create hundreds more jobs and generate hundreds of million of pounds for the economy, according to Government estimates based on demand for commercial shipbuilding.

The timing is important for two main reasons. Shipping’s growing focus on sustainability is driving strong demand in the retrofit segment as ship operators seek to cut emissions and adopt new technologies to improve the ratings of existing vessels. Meanwhile, the drive for renewable energy – particularly offshore wind – is stimulating fresh demand for a wide range of support and service vessels.  

A statement from the Department of Business and Trade declared that the new scheme would support purchases of UK-built and upgraded ships, as well as boosting the UK’s coastal communities. It will drive growth in areas including Liverpool, Plymouth, the Solent, Rosyth, Clydebank, and Belfast, it said.

Nusrat Ghani, Minister for Industry and Economic Security, commented: “Shipbuilding is an integral part of the UK’s industrial identity and through this scheme we are backing our great maritime businesses to get ahead of the competition.

“With cutting-edge vessels designed and built here in the UK, this will be a boost to high-skilled careers and every company involved in the supply chain for shipbuilding, helping us to grow the economy,” she added.

Separately, Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, said: “As I set out in the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh, this scheme will help build confidence in UK shipyards, allowing them to invest in the people and the technology to drive productivity forward in this vital sector of the UK economy.”

The strategy was welcomed by Maritime UK CEO, Chris Shirling-Rooke. “We applaud the Government for delivering on the pledge it made to industry in the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh by launching the Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme. The SCGS is a massive vote of confidence from Government, and it will empower the UK’s shipbuilding enterprise to compete fairly on the global stage in doing what it does best: building Great British ships.”

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