2 minute read - 27th July 2023
Gov’t scheme launched to boost British shipbuilding
A new government scheme has been launched to help ship buyers access finance to buy UK-built vessels and upgrade existing ones, boosting 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. 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.
Shipbuilding is hugely important to the UK, supporting 42,600 jobs nationwide and adding £2.4bn to the economy every single year. Figures show 95% of UK trade is moved by sea.
Nusrat Ghani, minister for industry and economic security, 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 scheme also forms part of the government’s £4bn plan to revitalise UK shipbuilding and coastal communities through the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh announced last year. 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.
Ben Wallace, defence secretary, added: “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.”
The government said 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.