Sixth positive year in a row for the British marine industry with revenues rising to £3.12bn, the highest level since 2007/08

According to research by British Marine published today, (10 January) to coincide with the opening of the London Boat Show, the UK’s leisure marine industry has achieved its sixth consecutive year of growth.

Industry revenues increased by 3.4% in 2017 – rising to £3.12bn – their highest level since the financial crisis of 2007/08. The sector directly contributed over £1.3bn to the UK economy between March 2016 – April 2017, while supporting over 33,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the UK’s manufacturing and service industries.

The marine sector continues to perform above-average in comparison with other UK industries, with an estimated Gross Value Added output per worker of over £39,000.

Howard Pridding, Chief Executive Officer of British Marine, said: “These impressive figures demonstrate how the industry has successfully cashed in on the pound’s devaluation since the Brexit referendum in 2016. In 2017 UK marine industry exports grew by 4.7% to £924m, with the weak pound making British-made boats and products more competitive abroad.”

Business confidence in the industry has also continued to increase over the last 6 months, with a net balance of 41% of British Marine members positive about their future prospects.

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The UK’s boating tourism sector also appears to have been a key beneficiary of Brexit, with over 60% of marine tourism operators reporting increased sales over the summer. Marinas and boatyards were the second most positive sector, with a net balance of 47% of companies reporting revenue growth.

With the pound falling 10% against the dollar and 20% against the euro since Brexit, many Brits have chosen to spend their holidays in the UK rather than abroad, helping the leisure marine industry’s growth.

Mr Pridding commented: “As the pound has dipped, many Brits have rekindled their love for barges, yachting, watersports holidays and canal cruises in and around the UK. Confidence in the sector is at its highest since the credit crunch and we expect to see further growth into 2018. However, we are also clear on the potential challenges we are facing as an industry due to Brexit, including its potential impact on the labour supply chain and rising costs related to overseas procurement. British boating is in good health, but a bad deal with the EU risks capsizing our success.”