The UK Government has decided to infuse £4bn into its regional shipbuilding industry to address next-generation challenges in the sector.
Plans have been made to deliver more than 150 new naval and civil vessels for the government and devolved administrations using the funding.
This infusion accompanies the government’s refreshed National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSbS), which aims to support shipyards across the country through measures including the development of technology and improvement of worker skills.
The move comes in the wake of the UK’s rising support for European defence amid aggression from Russia.
Poland has selected UK-based Babcock as its preferred partner to supply three new warships. The vessels will be based on the UK’s Type 31 design.
In a statement, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Shipbuilding has been in our blood for centuries and I want to ensure it remains at the heart of British industry of generations to come.
“The National Shipbuilding Strategy will transform this important and crucial industry, creating jobs, driving technology development and upskilling the shipbuilders of tomorrow, ensuring we are levelling up across every dock, port and shipyard in the UK.”
A new UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce will also be created by NSbS Refresh to collaborate with industry and training providers across the country to find and address skills gaps.
Furthermore, the UK Department for Transport will invest £206m in the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK-SHORE) for the development of zero-emission vessels and infrastructure.
The UK shipbuilding industry presently employs 42,600 people across the country.
Last March, the Department for Transport launched a $27.53m (£20m) competition to support innovation and development in the shipping sector.