The Government United Kingdom has launched a refreshed National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSbS) to revitalize the UK’s world-renowned shipbuilding industry. More than £4 billion of government-wide investment has been earmarked for the shipbuilding sector across next 3 years. More than 150 new commercial and naval vessels to be delivered through strategy across the next 30 years.
During a visit to Cammell Laird Shipyard in Merseyside this week, the Prime Minister and Defense Secretary set out how the new strategy would level up regions across the UK by supporting high-quality jobs, technology development and boosting investment.
Home to one of the leading British shipbuilding companies, Merseyside is one of the key areas that will benefit from the strategy, with new measures such as better access to finance and opportunities to build crucial skills.
First published in 2017, the National Shipbuilding Strategy outlined ambitions to transform naval procurement, securing export and design contracts for British naval ships to Australia and Canada. Building on that success, the refresh outlines the Government’s further ambitions to reinvigorate the whole British shipbuilding industry contributing to its leveling up mission to boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards.
The £4 billion of Government investment will galvanize and support shipyards and suppliers across the UK, and provide funding for crucial research and development into greener vessels and infrastructure.
The strategy 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. Those vessels will include large warships, such as Fleet Solid Support (FSS), Type 26 and Type 31 ships, and Border Force cutters, lighthouse vessels and the new National Flagship.
Defense Secretary and Shipbuilding Lead Ben Wallace said that as Shipbuilding Tsar, I am proud to be announcing our new strategy, this is an exciting time to be involved in the sector.
With significant government investment, we will be leveling-up across our shipbuilding, workforce, from shipyard to supplier, from procurement to designer, creating tens of thousands of new employment opportunities, boosting living standards and pay.
Our refreshed strategy will see the sector galvanized at a crucial time for our economy and see a vital part of British industry expand and flourish.
Encouraging investment in domestic shipyards, the pipeline seeks to maximize the social value contribution shipbuilding can make in the UK whilst balancing the need to deliver value for money and solutions that fully meet the requirements of the Royal Navy. There are more than 20 ship and boat builders across the UK.
The strategy also includes a range of interventions from across Government to support the sector. A new Home Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme (HSCGS) will give UK shipyards access to finance for underwriting domestic contracts. This will level the playing field with competitors’ export credit guarantees and ensure UK shipbuilders have a fairer chance of securing valuable contracts.
The Department for Transport will invest £206 million in the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK-SHORE) to fund research and development in zero emission vessels and infrastructure and ensure our place as global leader in green technology.
UK-SHORE will help to tackle barriers to investment in clean maritime technologies, including investment in port infrastructure. It also includes a multi-year version of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition which ran last year and provided funding to consortia right across the UK.