The British Ports Association (BPA) has tentatively welcomed measures announced in the UK Chancellor’s Summer Statement today, noting the assurances that these are the latest in a series, with more to come.
The bringing forward of infrastructure projects, first announced by the Government on 30 June, is good news for construction and good news for ports. This was highlighted as important in the BPA’s recently published UK port sector recovery plan and infrastructure investment drives many economic and port activities.
Other measures to ‘kick start’ the economy are also good news, particularly those supporting people into work and retaining jobs. This will benefit industry both directly and indirectly. Coastal communities are often in deprived areas and port clusters can be important hubs for jobs and regional investment.
We are pleased that the Government has recognised that we must ‘build back better’ with investment in the green economy. The maritime sector has particular challenges but significant ambitions in this area and we are keen to support both decarbonisation and innovation – key policy goals for Government. We need to see a green maritime fund supporting innovative schemes in UK ports in future announcements such as the autumn budget and national infrastructure strategy.
Plans to support hospitality and tourism will also be welcomed by ports focussing on recreation and leisure which are amongst the hardest hit in the industry. Passenger travel including the ferry, cruise and marine recreation sectors have all be hit hard by the lockdown.
Commenting, Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive, at the British Ports Association said:
“Today’s statement is welcome news and we support the focus on jobs as a priority for Government. The Chancellor must now turn his attention to scaling up ambition in green investment and further infrastructure capacity . . . . .
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