Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, will visit a Merseyside dockyard today as he announces a £4bn ($5.3bn) injection into the UK’s regional shipbuilding industry, the latest in a series of shipyard initiatives undertaken in his near three-year reign.
The funding comes as the Ministry of Defence prepares to publish its refreshed National Shipbuilding Strategy today.
The UK’s shipbuilding industry currently supports 42,600 jobs across the UK, and contributes more than £2.8bn to the economy.
Johnson said: “Shipbuilding has been in our blood for centuries and I want to ensure it remains at the heart of British industry of generations to come.”
A new UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce, led by the Department for Education, is being created.
Meanwhile, as part of the strategy, the Department for Transport will invest £206m in the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK-SHORE) to match fund research and development in zero emission vessels and infrastructure.
A new Maritime Capability Campaign Office (MCCO) within the Department for International Trade will also be established.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace has also been christened shipbuilding tsar in a government release today. Wallace commented: “With significant government investment, we will be levelling-up across our shipbuilding, workforce, from shipyard to supplier, from procurement to designer, creating tens of thousands of new employment opportunities, boosting living standards and pay.”