Mersey Maritime backs £1bn low-carbon funding bid

Maritime firms in the city region are being urged by Mersey Maritime to actively back the Maritime UK bid for £1bn from the Government for a decarbonisation drive to create 73,000 jobs. Tony McDonough reports

Mersey Maritime is backing the £1bn decarbonisation plan. Picture by Tony McDonough


Industry body Mersey Maritime is urging firms across the Liverpool city region to back a national campaign for a £1bn cash injection for the maritime sector that could create more than 73,000 jobs.

Maritime UK is lobbying the Government for the money in its Autumn Spending Review to kick-start a huge maritime sector decarbonisation programme. It says it can replicate the success of the decarbonisation drive in the UK automotive sector.

According to research carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, the initial £1bn from the Government would unlock further public sector investment that would lead to the creation of 15,200 directly and a further 58,400 jobs in the UK supply chain.

And Maritime UK claims the programme would see the creation of new jobs in all four nations of the UK. Liverpool city region’s maritime sector is worth more than £4bn annually and provides employment for more than 50,000 people. It could benefit hugely from Government investment.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, chief executive of Mersey Maritime which represents hundreds of Merseyside businesses, is urging firms across the local sector to actively support Maritime UK’s lobbying push.

Maritime UK offers a toolkit to help local firms support the national campaign, containing useful information and background and also practical items including a template letter they can send to their local MPs.

Click here to download the toolkit

Mr Shirling-Rooke said: “Mersey Maritime is playing an important part in supporting a strong maritime-themed bid as part of the Department for Transport’s submission to the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review process this autumn.

Mersey Maritime chief executive Chris Shirling-Rooke at the Maritime Knowledge Hub


“To that end we have already held a number of briefing meetings with local councillors, MPs and business leaders on both the original Maritime Sector Recovery Plan (launched in June 2020) and now the series of ‘asks’ we are making in this important funding round.

“To have impact, it will be important that Government ministers and MPs hear from a range of regional voices – the very people on the frontline of business activity and engaged with the delivery of the important themes.

“These include ‘clean maritime’, job creation, skills, growth and general support for the sector as being critical to delivering a strong post-COVID19 recovery. I would urge you all to get involved with this work if you can.”

The proposed decarbonisation programme would seek to take advantage of the fast-growing market for clean maritime technologies and fuels, positioning the UK as a world leader. It would fund a programme of plug-in grants for vessels and support the roll-out of electric charging in ports.

Maritime contributes £46.1bn to the UK economy and supports 1m jobs – more than air and rail combined. Maritime is responsible for keeping the country supplied with 95% of British imports and exports in goods are moved by sea. The maritime and logistics sector played a critical role during the COVD-19 lockdown.

Ports, including the Port of Liverpool, invest more than £600m of private capital each year, benefiting coastal economies through job creation and infrastructure investment. Maritime workers are 43% more productive than UK average and offers well-paid highly skilled roles, which pay an average of £38,000 per year – £9,000 more than the national average.

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