‘Ports can take lead on levelling-up’

Port of Liverpool operator Peel Ports calls on the Government to form a partnership with the port and maritime sector to accelerate its Levelling Up agenda. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool2 container terminal was opened in 2016 and cost £400m


Peel Ports is calling on the Government to form a partnership with the UK’s £116bn maritime sector to drive the Levelling Up agenda.

On Monday Peel Ports, operator of the Port of Liverpool, published a report outlining the “enormous scope” for synergy between the Government and the maritime industry. It says such a partnership could accelerate Levelling Up and the push for net zero carbon.

New chief executive Claudio Veritiero said: “It has long been clear to those of us in the port sector that we have an essential role to play in growing economies and there’s never been a more pivotal time for us to assert our ambitions in helping everyone in the UK to thrive.

“Our operations enable better futures for our staff, local communities, other businesses, and the environment. We’re already doing our part and with the government’s support we’re ready to do much, much more.”

Headquartered in Merseyside and employing 2,000 people, Peel Ports also operates facilities at Heysham, Medway, Clydeport and Great Yarmouth, as well as the Manchester Ship Canal.

In June Mersey Maritime and Maritime UK published new data which detailed the contribution maritime already makes to the UK economy. Across the UK it is worth £116bn a year. In Liverpool city region the sector contributes £5bn a year and employs almost 50,000 people. And the new £25m Liverpool city region Freeport is also set to go live.

In its new report, Peel Ports goes on to set out practical ways in which businesses can be helped to maximise their impact. It references the Government’s own approach of six ‘capitals’: physical, financial, intangible, social, human and institutional.

Quoting data from Maritime UK it adds the the port sector creates an extra £2.67 to the economy for every £1 it directly produces. This contributes to an estimated total of £29bn to the UK economy. It also revealed maritime workers earn 36% more than the national average.

Across its estate Peel Ports handles almost 70m tonnes of cargo per yearand15% of the UK’s total port traffic through its waters. The company also includes a freight forwarding logistics business and a shipping line.

In February 2022, the UK government launched its Levelling Up white paper, which promised to set out a ‘complete system change of government works that will be implemented to level up the UK’.

This follows the creation of the new Department for Levelling-up, Housing and Communities.

Click here to view the Peel Ports report

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