A new shipbuilding lending scheme has been launched which could create hundreds of UK jobs and contribute hundreds of millions of pounds to the UK economy.
Earlier this year a £1.6 billion contract was awarded by Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) to Team Resolute, comprising BMT, Harland & Wolff and Navantia UK, to deliver three Fleet Solid Support ships for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), creating 1,200 UK shipyard jobs, hundreds of graduate and apprentice opportunities and an expected 800 further jobs across the UK supply chain.
Courtesy Harland & Wolff
A new government scheme to help ship buyers access finance to buy UK-built vessels and upgrade existing ones is set to boost Britain’s coastal communities.
Through the Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme (SCGS) the Government will act as a guarantor for lenders, unlocking credit for maritime firms.
It will help to boost the UK shipbuilding industry and drive growth in areas such as Liverpool, Plymouth, the Solent, Rosyth, Clydebank and Belfast.
Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani said: "Shipbuilding is an integral part of the UK’s industrial identity and through this scheme we are backing our great maritime businesses to get ahead of the competition.
"With cutting-edge vessels designed and built here in the UK this will be a boost to high-skilled careers and every company involved in the supply chain for shipbuilding, helping us to grow the economy."
The SCGS is expected to create hundreds of new jobs and contribute hundreds of millions of pounds to the economy, according to government estimates based on the demand for commercial shipbuilding in the UK.
The scheme also forms part of the Government’s £4 billion plan to revitalise UK shipbuilding and coastal communities through the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh announced last year.
Industry Minister Nusrat Ghani will formally launch the scheme at an event onboard a Thames Clippers’ boat – built at Wight Shipyard, one of the UK firms which stands to benefit from the new scheme – today in London.
The SCGS will guarantee a percentage of the value of loans used to purchase, refit, retrofit or repair vessels, sharing the risk with lenders to encourage offers of finance to UK vessel owners and operators.
Defence Secretary and Shipbuilding Tsar, Ben Wallace, said: "As I set out in the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh, this scheme will help build confidence in UK shipyards, allowing them to invest in the people and the technology to drive productivity forward in this vital sector of the UK economy."
Shipbuilding is hugely important to the UK, supporting 42,600 jobs nationwide and adding £2.4 billion to the economy every single year. A strong domestic sector helps to support the wider economy’s export ambitions, with 95% of UK trade moved by sea.
Maritime UK CEO Chris Shirling-Rooke MBE said: "We applaud the Government for delivering on the pledge it made to industry in the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh by launching the Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme.
"The SCGS is a massive vote of confidence from government and it will empower the UK’s shipbuilding enterprise to compete fairly on the global stage in doing what it does best: building Great British ships."
The shipbuilding industry is a growing part of the UK’s new green economy. Supporting the purchase, construction and repair of high-value vessels will encourage continued investment in innovative, sustainable, low-carbon maritime technologies.