UK government launches new national shipbuilding strategy

In support of the announcement of the new national shipbuilding strategy Prince William is pictured setting a plasma cutting machine to work on the first plate of steel for the third Type 26 frigate
In support of the announcement of the new national shipbuilding strategy Prince William is pictured setting a plasma cutting machine to work on the first plate of steel for the third Type 26 frigate

The UK’s shipbuilding industry will be revitalised through a refreshed national strategy, the UK government has announced.

First published in 2017, the National Shipbuilding Strategy outlined ambitions to transform naval procurement, securing export and design contracts for British naval ships. Building on that success, the new release outlines the government’s further ambitions to reinvigorate the whole British shipbuilding industry while contributing to its levelling up mission to boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards across the country.

Over £4bn of government investment aims to galvanise and support shipyards and suppliers across the UK, with new measures including better access to finance, vital skills-building, and funding for crucial research and development into greener vessels and infrastructure.

Designed in partnership with industry and delivered by the recently formed National Shipbuilding Office (NSO), the national shipbuilding strategy will also deliver a pipeline of more than 150 new naval and civil vessels for the UK government and devolved administrations over the next 30 years. The vessels will include large warships, Border Force cutters, lighthouse vessels and the new National Flagship.

Defence secretary and shipbuilding lead, Ben Wallace, said: “With significant government investment, we will be levelling-up across our shipbuilding, workforce, from shipyard to supplier, from procurement to designer, creating tens of thousands of new employment opportunities, boosting living standards and pay.

“Our refreshed strategy will see the sector galvanised at a crucial time for our economy and see a vital part of British industry expand and flourish.”

Encouraging investment in domestic shipyards, the pipeline seeks to maximise the social value contribution shipbuilding can make in the UK whilst balancing the need to deliver value for money and solutions that fully meet the requirements of the Royal Navy.

The national shipbuilding strategy also includes a range of interventions from across Government to support the sector. A new Home Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme (HSCGS) will give UK shipyards access to finance for underwriting domestic contracts. This will level the playing field with competitors’ export credit guarantees and ensure UK shipbuilders have a fairer chance of securing valuable contracts.

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