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UK marine industry remains resilient

The marine industry has demonstrated its adaptability and resilience during 2022/23 amid high inflation and declining consumer sentiment.

That’s the finding of British Marine’s new annual economic report ‘The Economic Benefits of the Leisure, Superyacht & Small Commercial Marine Industry, 2022-23.’

The report highlights a 12.5% growth in industry revenue, reaching an estimated £4.41 billion for the 2022-23 period.

The growth was partly fuelled by inflation, with prices rising around 4.7% above the average inflation levels.

In addition, the industry’s direct gross value added (GVA) contribution to the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) saw a 6.7% increase to £1.68 billion.

The industry’s direct workforce has also grown, with the number of full-time equivalent jobs rising by 6.6% to 38,336 in the period.

When considering the wider indirect economic contribution on other sectors, the figure increased to an estimated 753,838 full-time equivalent jobs and an economic contribution estimated at £17.38 billion.

Export increase

The report found there was a 33.2% increase in exports, amounting to £937 million.

This success is attributed to the global demand for UK-made boats, including sailing yachts, rigid inflatables, and luxury motor yachts.

There was also a positive trend on domestic demand which remained strong in 2022, with imports growing 90.7% on 2021.

The greatest growth was aided by the rise of the Staycation with coastal charter and passenger boat excursions benefitting.

And the report highlights a surge in early career training, with Government statistics showing that apprenticeship starts have grown 23.3% (to 5,080), with 760 apprentices graduating in 2022-23, treble the number in 2021-22.

“This report underscores the resilience and dynamic nature of the UK’s marine industry amidst the challenging economic conditions of 2022-23,” said Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine. “While our 2022-23 economic report shines a light on the significant achievements of the UK marine industry, it also brings into focus the ongoing challenges we face amidst the evolving economic landscape.”

She added: “Growth in industry revenue and a substantial increase in exports, are tempered by the high inflation rates and shifting consumer sentiment.

“Our industry’s resilience and innovative capacity have been pivotal, yet the backdrop of a global slowdown and the need for continued adaptability remain clear.

“The surge in domestic demand and the remarkable increase in apprenticeships signal a vibrant future, yet they also underscore the necessity of addressing the skills gap and fostering sustainable growth amidst uncertainties.”


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