Government announces new shipbuilding lending scheme to boost UK coastal communities

Posted on 26 Jul 2023 by The Manufacturer

A new government scheme has been announced to help ship buyers access finance to buy UK-built vessels and upgrade existing ones will 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 £4bn 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 (26 July) 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.

Shipbuilding Tsar and Defence Secretary 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 £2.4bn to the economy every single year. A strong domestic sector helps to support the wider economy’s export ambitions, with 95 percent 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.”

Commenting on the Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme (SCGS) Marco Forgione, Director General of The Institute of Export & International Trade, said:

“It is a positive step that the Government is investing in UK ship building and the infrastructure around it. By launching the Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme (SCGS) it will help build confidence with investors looking to purchase UK built vessels.

“The UK remains home to a flourishing, dynamic and innovative maritime sector. This scheme will help support coastal communities and those with a strong shipbuilding history to continue to grow and develop high skilled jobs for the future. The industry already supports 42,600 jobs right across the country and adds £2.8 billion to the UK economy which is estimated to grow by up to 45% in the next decade.

“This initiative will have a significant positive impact on all the businesses which support the wider supply chain. As well as commodities and supplies a thriving shipbuilding industry supports a wide number of service focused businesses. This announcement is a great boost for the UK’s world leading services sector.

“Approximately 95% of all UK imports and exports by volume are moved by sea and Naval shipbuilding is an important UK export success story.”

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