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A new government initiative, the Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme (SCGS) is aimed at providing financial assistance to ship buyers, enabling them to purchase UK-built vessels and enhance their existing fleet. By acting as a guarantor for lenders, the government will facilitate the availability of credit for maritime firms.

This innovative scheme is expected to have a positive impact on Britain’s coastal communities, invigorating the UK shipbuilding industry and fostering growth in key regions like Liverpool, Plymouth, the Solent, Rosyth, Clydebank, and Belfast. Through increased financing opportunities, the SCGS will pave the way for progress and prosperity in these vital maritime areas.

Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani said, “Shipbuilding is an integral part of the UK’s industrial identity and through this scheme we are backing our great maritime businesses to get ahead of the competition.

With cutting-edge vessels designed and built here in the UK this will be a boost to high-skilled careers and every company involved in the supply chain for shipbuilding, helping us to grow the economy.”

Based on government estimates, the SCGS is projected to generate hundreds of job opportunities and make a substantial contribution of hundreds of millions of pounds to the economy. This optimistic outlook is based on the anticipated demand for commercial shipbuilding in the UK, which the scheme seeks to support.

Notably, the SCGS is a crucial component of the Government’s broader plan to rejuvenate the UK shipbuilding industry and boost coastal communities. This plan, encompassing a £4 billion initiative known as the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh, was unveiled last year with the aim of revitalising the maritime sector.

The formal launch of the SCGS will be conducted by Industry Minister Nusrat Ghani during a special event aboard a Thames Clippers’ boat, crafted at Wight Shipyard. This celebratory event, taking place in London on the 26th of July, will highlight the potential benefits the scheme holds for UK firms, including Wight Shipyard.

Through its mechanics, the SCGS will act as a guarantee for a portion of the loan value utilised for purchasing, refitting, retrofitting, or repairing vessels. By sharing the risk with lenders, the scheme intends to incentivise financial institutions to offer more attractive financing options to UK vessel owners and operators.

This, in turn, is poised to stimulate growth and development in the maritime sector while fostering a positive environment for vessel-related investments.

Shipbuilding Tsar and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said, “As I set out in the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh, this scheme will help build confidence in UK shipyards, allowing them to invest in the people and the technology to drive productivity forward in this vital sector of the UK economy.”

Shipbuilding is very important to the UK, supporting 42,600 jobs nationwide and adding £2.4 billion to the economy each year. A strong domestic sector helps to support the wider economy’s export ambitions, with 95% of UK trade moved by sea.

Maritime UK CEO Chris Shirling-Rooke MBE said, “We applaud the Government for delivering on the pledge it made to industry in the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh by launching the Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme.

The SCGS is a massive vote of confidence from the government, and it will empower the UK’s shipbuilding enterprise to compete fairly on the global stage in doing what it does best: building Great British ships.”