- Business - British maritime industry surges in growth

By SuperyachtNews

British maritime industry surges in growth

The maritime sector in the UK is flourishing, with double-digit growth and increased contributions to the economy, according to a British Marine report…

There has been a staggering 12.5% growth in the British UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry revenue, with an estimated £4.41 billion for the 2022-23 period, according to the latest findings from British Marine.

In The Economic Benefits of the Leisure, Superyacht & Small Commercial Marine Industry, 2022-23, building on its annual KPI reports from previous years, this new report offers an overview of the industry's contribution to the UK economy, providing analysis and statistics on industry turnover, Gross Value Added (GVA), employment figures and the balance of trade concerning imports and exports.

“This report underscores the resilience and dynamic nature of the UK's marine industry amidst the challenging economic conditions of 2022-23,” explains Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine. “Our members have demonstrated remarkable adaptability, capitalising on both domestic and international opportunities to drive growth. The report not only highlights the economic significance of our industry but also reflects the collective efforts and dedication of British Marine members.”

The British marine industry's combined economic contribution is estimated at £17.38 billion. This growth has been partly fuelled by inflation, with prices rising around 4.7% above average inflation levels.

Directly, the industry's contribution to the UK's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased notably by 6.7% to £1.68 billion, accompanied by a 6.6% rise in the number of full-time equivalent jobs to 38,336 during 2022-23. When considering the broader indirect economic impact on other sectors, such as hospitality services, the estimated full-time equivalent jobs rise dramatically to 753,838. This, coupled with increased GVA, underscores the sector's indispensable role in the national economy.

Internationally, the UK marine industry has seen a 33.2% surge in exports, reaching £937 million, driven by global demand for UK-made boats, including sailing yachts, rigid inflatables and luxury motoryachts.

While the report highlights the industry's significant achievements, it also acknowledges ongoing challenges amid the turbulent economic landscape. Despite revenue growth and substantial export increases, high inflation rates and shifting consumer sentiment remain concerns.

Nevertheless, positive trends in domestic demand persisted in 2022, with imports nearly doubling in size, growing by 90.7% compared to 2021. Additionally, there has been a surge in early career training, with apprenticeship starts growing by 23.3% (to 5,080) and 760 apprentices graduating in 2022-23, triple the number from the previous year, signalling a promising outlook for future growth and sustainability.

“Our industry's resilience and innovative capacity have been pivotal, yet the backdrop of a global slowdown and the need for continued adaptability remains clear. The surge in domestic demand and the remarkable increase in apprenticeships signal a vibrant future, yet they also underscore the necessity of addressing the skills gap and fostering sustainable growth amidst uncertainties,” adds Robinson.

“The journey forward is one of cautious optimism, as we work together to harness opportunities while remaining mindful of the hurdles that we may face in the future.”

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