News: Maritime UK responds to Levelling-Up White Paper

By: Ben Murray

Chief Executive
020 7417 2837 bmurray@maritimeuk.org

Commenting on details of the government's Levelling Up White Paper, Maritime UK Chief Executive, Ben Murray, said:

“Maritime UK welcomes the mission set out within the levelling-up white paper but urges the government to put levelling-up coastal areas at the heart of its plans – it’s not just about north/south or urban/rural.

“Coastal towns and cities are amongst some of the most deprived communities across the country with almost half of our coastal communities’ young being driven away from their hometowns through lack of jobs.

“For levelling-up to mean something, it must respond to this challenge and recognise the unique challenges the coast faces.

“But for too long, the government has been held back by an outdated approach towards the coast. In its most recent coastal regeneration fund, only 4 out of 44 of the projects funded could be described as industrial, with the lion’s share going to cultural and restoration projects.

“Preserving the beauty and tourism of our coast is vital. But it must be matched with the investment that’s needed to spur high wage and high skilled jobs in these areas.

“There is nothing inevitable about coastal decline. These areas are Britain’s gateway to the world and can have a high tech, high skilled future as the engine room of our green industrial revolution.

“Maritime is a source of well-paid highly-skilled roles, which pay £9,000 more than the national average. The average maritime job is 42% more productive than the UK average and growing maritime makes good economic sense - for every £1 generated by the sector, a total £2.71 is generated across the UK economy.

“Already investing and creating quality jobs in coastal areas, we are ambitious to do more, but need the right policies and backing to unleash our full potential.

“Our Coastal Powerhouse Manifesto sets out how we can grow the maritime sector in coastal economies and realise the mission set out within the white paper. We look forward to working with the government on how that can happen.”