The full economic impact of the U.K. marine industry and spend associated with boating participation was estimated to total £6.2 billion in 2012/13, according to a new report released by the British Marine Federation (BMF). Latest industry trends results also announced by the BMF show encouraging signs of an upward trend for this key contributor to the U.K. economy. The two reports are announced in a week when the U.K. leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry came together at the BMF’s annual conference in Liverpool.
In addition to highlighting the impressive £6.2 billion contribution, the BMF’s Economic Benefits of the U.K. Boating Industry also revealed expenditures are estimated to support approximately 141,000 full time (FTE) jobs and more than £5.3 billion of Gross Value Added (GVA) in the U.K. economy, taking into account all direct and indirect effects. The estimates in this report include associated manufacturing, repair, servicing, distribution, retail, finance activities and other consumer and business activities as well as wider tourism activities and spend.
According to the BMF’s Industry Trends Report (November 2013 – May 2014) the sector is healthier than a year ago and future expectations for the marine industry are also more promising. Almost half of the respondents have experienced an increase in overall marine business activity over the last six months and profit levels are now reporting the most positive trend since pre recession.
Hit hard by the downturn, the leisure market is now improving steadily and new build activity is seeing uplift over the last six months ago compared to last year. In the superyacht and small commercial sectors, both of which are still performing ahead of the leisure sector overall, the most significant improvement is being seen in the aftermarket/ refit markets.
Howard Pridding, Chief Executive of the British Marine Federation, said, “This economic benefits report now completes the picture and we can appreciate the full economic impact of the marine industry; £6.2 billion is a significant total. It’s also great news that latest indicators from our members really do show that the industry is moving forward.
“We’ve seen the sector experience two consecutive years of positive growth and BMF membership numbers recently reach 1,601, the highest since pre recession. Many marine companies reported good sales at our two last boat shows – PSP Southampton in September and London in January - and it is very positive that interest is high for the forthcoming PSP Southampton Boat Show, with 97% of space already sold.
“This progress and positivity for the industry was also evident at our annual conference in Liverpool this week. With a theme focusing on growth, many members came together to share best practice and discussed ways to develop both businesses and the industry.”
The BMF Annual Conference took place in Liverpool as part of the International Festival for Business 2014. Former John Lewis Partnership customer service specialist Andrew McMillan addressed the group as its keynote speaker this year. Andrew spent over 20 years with John Lewis and is widely recognized for developing the retailer’s much admired sales and service culture – consistently held up as an example of best practice.