PM boosts regional shipbuilding investment as updated NSbS launched

Posted on 10 March, 2022 by Advance 

The Prime Minister will visit a Merseyside dockyard today as he announces a £4 billion injection into the UK’s regional shipbuilding industry, whilst launching the updated National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSbS).

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Prime Minister will visit a Merseyside dockyard today as he announces a £4 billion injection into the UK’s regional shipbuilding industry to create tens of thousands of high-quality jobs.

The multibillion pound investment will galvanise and support shipyards and suppliers across the UK, delivering a pipeline of more than 150 new naval and civil vessels for the UK Government and Devolved Administrations over the next 30 years.

The funding comes as the Ministry of Defence prepares to publish its refreshed National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSbS) today, which will outline how the Government will support UK shipyards across the nation to upskill workers, create high-quality jobs, drive technology development and ensure UK shipbuilding delivers on next-generation challenges.

The strategy also builds on the UK’s increased support for European defence capability in the face of rising Russian aggression, with UK defence giant Babcock successfully being chosen as Poland’s preferred partner to deliver three new warships based on the UK’s Type 31 design.

During his visit the Prime Minister will meet apprentices and shipbuilding experts to understand how UK Government investment is creating jobs and levelling up communities across the country.

The UK’s historic shipbuilding industry currently supports 42,600 jobs across the UK, from Cornwall to Belfast and Govan, and contributes more than £2.8 billion to the economy.

The Prime Minister said: "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.

"The National Shipbuilding Strategy will transform this important and crucial industry, creating jobs, driving technology development and upskilling the shipbuilders of tomorrow, ensuring we are levelling up across every dock, port and shipyard in the UK.

"This will ensure the UK is rightly seen as a shipbuilding power across the world."

Click here
to access the Refresh to the National Shipbuilding Strategy
Courtesy MoD /

The NSbS Refresh will also establish a new UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce, led by the Department for Education. The taskforce will work with industry and training providers across the UK to identify and address skills gaps, ensuring the UK continues to develop and nurture future-focused skills and knowledge to help our shipbuilders deliver the world-class vessels of tomorrow.

Meanwhile, as part of the strategy, the Department for Transport will invest £206 million in the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK-SHORE) to match 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.

A new Maritime Capability Campaign Office (MCCO) within the Department for International Trade will also be established. The MCCO will coordinate export support across government and industry and use robust analysis to improve our understanding about global markets, helping maritime suppliers to win export orders and increase UK market share.

Defence Secretary and Shipbuilding Tsar Ben Wallace said: "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 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.

"Our refreshed strategy will see the sector galvanised at a crucial time for our economy and see a vital part of British industry expand and flourish."

ADS Chief Executive Kevin Craven said: "The National Shipbuilding Strategy sets out welcome plans for £4 billion investment to boost UK exports, support high-value and high-skilled jobs, and strengthen the UK economy.

"Shipbuilding is an important part of the UK Defence industry and supports more than 1,000 SME organisations. The 30-year pipeline of Government vessels including eight Type 26 and five Type 31 frigates, supports industry and its advanced maritime capabilities and enables the development of advanced technologies as well as levelling up local economies and communities.

"As we look to Net Zero by 2050, the £206m investment in a UK Shipping Office is a great opportunity for the shipbuilding and maritime sector to invest in skills and R&D to support the delivery of zero emission vessels and infrastructure.

"ADS looks forward to working with the new National Shipbuilding Office, the Ministry of Defence and relevant departments, and our members to deliver its ambitions and plans."

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: "Scotland is a world leader in building modern, state-of-the-art ships and our highly skilled workforce and expertise will be at the heart of delivering on the commitments in this strategy refresh.

"I look forward to the National Shipbuilding Office, which will have a base in the UK Government hub in Edinburgh, working with industry to deliver a 30 year pipeline of orders in the naval and commercial sectors that will boost Scotland and help level up all parts of the UK.

"Billions of pounds of UK Government defence investment into Scotland’s shipyards is already boosting our country’s prosperity through supporting thousands of jobs directly and through the supply chain.

"We have delivered 13 naval vessels in recent years to protect the UK and our NATO allies. And there are many more to come with three Type 26 frigates currently being built at BAE Systems in Govan and work is underway to order another five. The first of five Type 31s is also being constructed at Babcock’s Assembly Hall at Rosyth."