Maritime 2050: Major Ports welcomes governments strategy

Maritime 2050: Major Ports welcomes governments strategy

The UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG) has welcomed the Government’s Maritime 2050 Strategy. The Strategy lays out the vital role that the maritime sectors, including its ports, play in the UK economy and all of our lives today. Importantly, UKMPG welcomes the forward focused, pro-investment approach of the Strategy to infrastructure development and innovation.

The Strategy highlights how ports handle 95 percent of the UK’s trade in goods. It sets out how the sector has successfully adapted over time to continue to enable UK industry, secure our supplies of everyday essentials like food and energy. It also highlights how our largest ports have continued to invest heavily in the UK, attracting funds from around the world to develop our global gateways.

Looking forward UKMPG has said it particularly welcomes recommendations that improve conditions for trade and job boosting investment, as well as driving innovation and connectivity such as:

  • Establishing Port Economic Partnerships;
  • Reviewing the Ports National Policy Statement and considering publishing a policy statement indicating a presumption of support for port-centric developments;
  • A long-term commitment that all commercially available land around UK ports will be in use or have a clear plan for future use;
  • Considering the potential for key freight routes to boost trade connectivity; and
  • Proposals to support the digitisation of ports and a maritime innovation hub at a UK port.

With Brexit just around the corner, moves to improve how the UK develops its ports – its key gateways for trade with the world, handling 95 percent of physical trade – and surrounding connectivity and infrastructure are extremely timely. A number of recommendations offer the potential to unlock the potential of the UK’s Coastal Powerhouse by boosting the potential for investment in and connectivity of often hard-pressed coastal communities.

Tim Morris, of the UK Major Ports Group, said: “Its welcome to see the Government acknowledging the value and success of the UK’s ports, ports which handle 95 percent of all the UK’s trade in goods. Setting out a long-term vision for the UK’s maritime sectors is a positive step forward. The recommendations around further boosting the potential for ports to add to the £600m they already invest each year, growing the UK’s ability to trade with the world and – crucially – boosting jobs and prosperity growth in our Coastal communities are particularly welcome and potentially transformative. We look forward to working with the Government in the all-important implementation phase to realise this potential.”

The UK Major Ports Group is the trade association representing most of the larger commercial ports in the United Kingdom. It has nine members, who own and operate over 40 ports, accounting for 75 percent of the total tonnage handled in UK ports.

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28th January 2019


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