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Scottish maritime sector on the rise

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Dry Bulk,

The maritime sector in Scotland directly supports nearly £10 billion in turnover and 41 000 jobs according to a new report launched at the UK Chamber of Shipping and British Ports Association Scottish reception.

The report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), commissioned by Maritime UK and the Scottish Maritime Cluster, shows that the marine engineering and scientific industry is the largest industry within the Scottish maritime sector in terms of economic activity, directly contributing £2.5 billion in Gross Value Added and directly supporting around 29 000 jobs in 2017.

Indirectly, it is estimated the maritime sector in Scotland helped to support a total of £19.5 billion in turnover and 155 000 jobs.

Commenting on the report, Andrew Hemphill, Port Director at Clydeport and Chairman of the BPA Scottish Ports Group said:

“These figures demonstrate the continued success of the Scottish maritime sector. The unique mix of ownership models and a stable development framework has enabled this success but this must not be taken for granted. An uncertain economic outlook and huge decarbonisation challenges mean that the Scottish maritime sector must continue to innovate and invest in new technologies and processes.

As the industry gathered in Holyrood to celebrate this success we hope Government will continue to work with us in a constructive way to ensure that our industry can continue to thrive and support so many highly productive careers. 2020 will be the Year of Coasts and Waters and we look forward to continued success next year and continued working with Scottish Government so we can make further progress on shared challenges.”

Chief Executive of the UK Chamber of Shipping, Bob Sanguinetti welcomed the new study: “This report highlights the importance of the Scottish maritime sector to the Scotland economy and shows just how well it is doing. The Scottish maritime sector has shown great leadership in the development of new technologies, with hybrid and battery-operated ferries already in service, and the Scottish oil and gas and renewables industries are leading the way in helping meet the UK’s energy needs and providing cleaner, greener energy.

“Our reception at Holyrood gave us the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the sector’s success and I look forward to celebrating the ongoing success of the Scottish maritime sector during next year’s celebrations of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Water.”

The report is being launched exactly 50 days before the start of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters. The year will see annual events such as the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival at Portsoy and Crail Food Festival joined by The Fife Regatta, an expanded Clydebuilt Festival, and Edinburgh International Film Festival will present Scotland's Shores, featuring classic film screenings and a special outdoor coastal experience.

The Cebr report key findings are:

  • The Maritime Sector in Scotland makes a substantive macroeconomic contribution to the Scottish and UK economies through business turnover, Gross Value Added (GVA), employment and through the compensation of employees. It is estimated that the maritime sector directly supported just under £9.9 billion in turnover, £3.7 billion in GVA and 41 000 jobs in Scotland in 2017. This respectively equates to approximately 21% of turnover, 27% of GVA and 19% of employment directly supported by the UK-wide Maritime Sector in 2017.
  • With a large proportion of employment in the Marine Oil and Gas activities concentrated in Scotland, the marine engineering and scientific industry is the largest constituent industry within the Scottish Maritime Sector in terms of economic activity, directly contributing £2.5 billion in GVA and directly supporting around 29 000 jobs in 2017. This compares to £860 million and £240 million in GVA directly contributed by the shipping and ports industries respectively in Scotland.
  • Employees in the Scottish Maritime Sector are found to be highly productive in the eight years considered in this study. The average job is estimated to have contributed around £90 600 in GVA in 2017; this compares favourably to productivity in the UK Maritime sector of £77 400 and £54 330 across the UK in general. There is thus a large proportion of high value jobs in the Scottish Maritime Sector.
  • By extension of its significant direct contributions to GVA and employment, the Maritime Sector in Scotland also helps to raise a significant amount of tax revenue each year for the UK Exchequer. The maritime sector contributed an estimated total of £900 million in tax revenues in 2017, spread across VAT, corporation tax, income tax, national insurance contributions (NICs) and business rates.
  • After quantifying the aggregate economic impacts through the industry supply chains and induced effects on expenditures, it is estimated that the Maritime Sector in Scotland helped to support a total of £7.8 billion of GVA in 2017, an increase from £6.8 billion in 2010.
  • These aggregate economic impacts associated with the Scottish Maritime Sector also extend to business turnover, employment and the compensation of employees. It is estimated that the Maritime Sector in Scotland helped to support a total of £19.5 billion in turnover (through business turnover), 155 000 jobs and £5.1 billion through the compensation of employees in 2017.
  • Our forecast indicates that Scottish-based Maritime turnover and GVA are set to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.6% over period 2017 - 2023. This translates into a cumulative nominal growth of 14% for 2019 - 2023.

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