Ian Lucas, Minister for Business and Regulatory Reform today visited the Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show, where he was delighted to note the signs of recovery that the UK leisure and small commercial marine industry is beginning to show.
The British Marine Federation (BMF) last week confirmed that after facing one of the toughest trading periods in recent memory, the industry is reporting encouraging signs of improvement, with annual revenue rising by 1.9% to £3.16 billion.
International trade figures for the leisure and small commercial marine sector were particularly encouraging - up 13.6% on the previous year to £1.248 billion.
Ian Lucas said:
“In what has been a year of unprecedented challenges for the UK leisure and small commercial marine industry, these figures indicate that recovery from the financial crisis has started in earnest. It goes without saying that I am delighted that the industry is returning to a sounder footing.
“I am especially pleased with the latest export figures, which are a resounding vote of confidence in British innovation, manufacturing and services from international businesses.
“The London Boat Show is a wonderful example of how British manufacturing is still a force to be reckoned with. The UK is a World leader in marine design and manufacturing and that is clearly evident here today.”
During today’s visit, Ian Lucas was taken on a guided tour of the show by BMF Executive Director, Howard Pridding, during which he met exhibitors including Princess Yachts’ Managing Director, Chris Gates and Williams Performance Tenders’ joint Managing Directors, John and Matthew Hornsby. In 2004, the brothers and a partner, Roy Parker, set up the company: it is now based in Oxfordshire, where they produce jet powered inflatable boats that are used as tenders on larger craft.
The BMF’s Meet the Buyer event in association with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and International Boat Industry (IBI) was also a key part of Ian Lucas’ visit, meeting with buyers from South Africa, China, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Meet the Buyer provides a unique opportunity for buyers and suppliers of marine products and services to network in one location saving on travel time, airfares, and reducing scheduling issues.
Notes to editors
1. The Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show at ExCeL London is set to be 10 of the busiest days in the boating calendar. The show is London’s leading and most established annual event showcasing boating, marine products and lifestyle. Running from 8-17 January, the show will feature hundreds of boats and almost 500 exhibitors showcasing power and sail boats, dinghies, engines, electronics, deck equipment, charter holidays, sailing courses and more. Over 80 new product launches will be taking place at the show, including 18 global debuts, with first showings of brand new products emerging from most sectors.
2. The British Marine Federation has nearly 1,500 members representing an industry employing more than 34,000 people in the UK. Members are drawn from both the seagoing and inland sectors of the marine industry covering the leisure boat, hire fleet, commercial workboat and superyacht categories and supporting services. For more information about the work of the BMF and how to join, please visit the website at http://www.britishmarine.co.uk/
3. UKTI contributes £70,000 from its Regional Challenge Fund (RCF) for missions, exhibition stands and networking (meet the buyer) events at eight international marine shows.
4. Images from Ian Lucas’ visit will be available. To request these, please contact Gareth Greene, BIS Press Officer, on: 020 7215 5363/07854 945 245 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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