Maritime firms are key to UK economy growth

OPTIMISTIC Alan Johnston, managing director of BAE Systems' maritime arm
OPTIMISTIC Alan Johnston, managing director of BAE Systems' maritime arm
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THE UK’S marine industries contribute £3.7bn to the UK economy each year, according to figures released today by the Marine Industries Leadership Council.

Alan Johnston, managing director of BAE Systems’ maritime arm, based in Portsmouth, and co-chairman of the council, said it was wrong to say the marine industry was in decline, despite government cuts.

He said that if the industries work together and look at global markets, revenues in the sector could be increased.

Mr Johnston said: ‘It is not true that these industries are in decline – nothing could be further from the truth.

‘The high-technology marine engineering industry makes a major contribution to the UK. By working together we have the potential to further increase revenues and boost jobs and our collective value to the economy.

‘I would encourage companies in the UK marine supply chain to take an active interest in the wider sector and to explore opportunities for collaboration and engagement.’

Research by the council shows that around 120,000 people are employed by more than 5,000 maritime companies in the UK, and have a combined turnover of £10bn.

Mark Prisk, MP, council co-chairman and minister of state for business and enterprise, said: ‘These figures highlight the importance of the marine industry to the UK economy and to the jobs market.’