Boris Johnson Launches New UK Shipbuilding Strategy With Billions In Funding
This week Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the release of a refreshed UK National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSbS), laying out plans for a £4 billion ($5.2B USD) government investment which includes money for shipyard infastructure and green ship design.
”The Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) has played a key role in the development of the National Shipbuilding Strategy,” said Society of Maritime Industries CEO Tom Chant. “We will continue to be a full partner in its evolution.
This much anticipated release firmly supports the development of the UK’s shipbuilding industry and helps businesses invest for the long term, ramping up productivity, and launch apprenticeship programmes.
“The UK Government’s firm commitment to a 30 year shipbuilding pipeline shows it is listening and we further welcome the increased emphasis on the social value of shipbuilding,” said Chant. “This is a huge step forward which, consistently applied, will help to prevent UK shipbuilding opportunities go abroad.”
Currently the UK constructs complex naval vessels and research vessels and this plan with help the nation inovvate and grow. The importance of this capability is underlined by tragic events in Ukraine which demonstrate Britain requires the resilience to be able to defend itself as an island nation as well as support our allies around the globe.
National Shipbuilding Strategy Background
First published in 2017, the National Shipbuilding Strategy outlined ambitions to transform naval procurement, securing export and design contracts for British naval ships. This new refresh outlines the Government’s further ambitions to reinvigorate the British shipbuilding industry and boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards.
Designed in partnership with industry and delivered by the recently formed National Shipbuilding Office (NSO), the NSbS Refresh will also deliver a pipeline of more than 150 new naval and civil vessels for the UK Government and Devolved Administrations over the next 30 years. The vessels will include large warships, Border Force cutters, lighthouse vessels and the new National Flagship.
Over £4 billion of government investment will galvanise and support shipyards and suppliers across the UK, with new measures including better access to finance, vital skills-building, and funding for crucial research and development into greener vessels and infrastructure.
Prime Minister Support
“Shipbuilding has been in our blood for centuries and I want to ensure it remains at the heart of British industry of generations to come,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “The National Shipbuilding Strategy will transform this important and crucial industry, driving technology development and upskilling the shipbuilders of tomorrow. This will ensure the UK is rightly seen as a shipbuilding power across the world.”
The strategy includes more than £200m funding for green maritime projects through a new UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions, a new government team to open up exporting opportunities worth up to £600 million, and establishing a taskforce to drive new skills and talent into the industry.
Home Shipbuilding Guarantee
The NSS also re-introduces the Home Shipbuilding Guarantee Scheme (HSGS), giving firms a government-backed guarantee for loan repayments to reduce financing costs.
According to research by First Marine International, the HSGC could boost orders to UK yards from £60m to more than £400m per annum, an increase of more than 660%.
The shipbuilding industry currently supports 42,600 jobs across the UK and contributed £2.8 billion to the UK economy in 2020.
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