Could government plan be worth £8 billion?

The marine industry could be boosted by £8 billion to make it worth £25 billion by 2020 if a new government strategy is successful, Business Minister Mark Prisk believes. He visited the Southampton Boat Show to discuss his plans with business chiefs.

Drawing on the thinking of business, Government and academia, the Marine Industries Growth Strategy is the first ever integrated UK strategy for the marine industries and establishes a foundation for ambitious but sustainable long-term growth.

Mr Prisk, who is also co-chair of the Marine Industries Leadership Council, was impressed by his tour of the Show:

“Britain’s marine industries are one of our best prospects for high value, high skilled economic growth. That’s why we are launching the Marine Industries Growth Strategy to harness that potential and grow the industry by £8bn by 2020.

“By working together, like Lloyds Register and the University are doing here in Southampton, our marine industries can share knowledge, experience and opportunities. That way they will be able to create jobs, growth and a stronger more resilient supply chain.

“By harnessing the potential of the sector, and the research potential of our Universities, we can build our strengths and capabilities to make sure that Britain’s marine sector has a bright and successful future.”

The strategy identifies several areas for growth including: capitalising on export opportunities, particularly with growing economies like Brazil, Russia, India and China; expanding the domestic offshore renewable energy industry; building on partnerships with academia to continue to produce world leading research and investment; and greater cooperation across the marine industries.

Richard Sadler, Chief Executive of Lloyds Register and the industry Co-chair of the Marine Industries Leadership Council said:

“As co-chair of the Maritime Industries Leadership Council, I’m committed to leading this vital collaboration between business, academia and government to deliver a clear strategy revitalising the industry’s skills base, advanced technical capability and export potential.  

“It is also vital that the industry presents a united voice to government through BIS and UK Trade and Investment. This commitment is also reflected in Lloyd’s Register’s own collaboration with universities across the UK and the relocation of our UK marine business to a new Group Technology Centre in Southampton.”

Lloyd’s Register and the University of Southampton have already forged the largest university and business partnership of its kind in the UK, and are investing £116 million in creating a world leading Maritime Centre of Excellence in Southampton. The centre means that innovative engineering practices and cutting edge design are located in the same place, attracting new inward investment to the Solent maritime cluster.   

The strategy has been developed by the recently created Marine Industries Leadership Council, which is inviting marine companies to show their support for the strategy by taking part in the “UK Marine Industries Alliance”. The alliance is a new coherent identification to tie together the naval, commercial, leisure, renewable and other sub-sectors of the marine industries.