The UK Government has said it will inject £4bn into the shipbuilding industry to deliver more than 150 vessels over the next 30 years.
The funding, which was announced today by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will unlock tens of thousands of jobs, galvanising shipyards and suppliers across the country.
“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,” Johnson said today. “This will ensure the UK is rightly seen as a shipbuilding power across the world.”
The investment comes just as the Ministry of Defence published today its latest National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSbS), which will outline the government’s plans for the sector.
Under the NSbS, Merseyside will benefit from measures such as improved access to finance with a shipbuilding guarantee scheme.
“With significant government investment, we will be levelling-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,” said defence secretary and shipbuilding lead Ben Wallace.
Led by the Department for Education, the NSbS is set to establish a new shipbuilding skills task force which will work to address skills gaps.
“The work we are doing will support more people to build exciting, well paid careers and level up opportunities across the UK,” commented education secretary Nadhim Zahawi.
As part of the strategy, the Department for Transport (DfT) launched today UK SHORE, a new unit tasked with tackling the industry’s environmental impact and support its net-zero transition.
The DfT announced the unit will receive £206m to accelerate research and development of clean maritime technologies.
“I want UK SHORE to take the industry back to the future,” added transport secretary Grant Shapps. “The age of the sail was the first green maritime age; new technology will bring us to a second green age.
“And as we turn the tide for green shipping, I can’t wait to see thousands of new jobs created around the country, too – from masterful shipbuilding to the high-tech sailors of tomorrow.”