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New Gov't Contracts Boost UK Maritime Industry

by Robert Lee,, London

26 February 2015

The UK Government has promised a multimillion pound boost to the UK marine sector with the announcement of two major investments.

In the first announcement, the UK Ministry of Defense has confirmed it will support the UK's shipbuilding industry through a new contract with BAE Systems worth GBP859m (USD1.33bn). The contract, which will help build the next generation of warships, will also help sustain around 600 jobs in Scotland and over 1,000 more throughout the UK, in both BAE Systems and its supply chain. As part of its ongoing commitment to the industry, BAE Systems has also promised to continue driving investment in education and training with its largest ever recruitment of apprentices and graduates, including 220 for its Naval Ships business, mostly in Glasgow.

Welcoming the announcement, David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, said: "This is a substantial investment in our shipbuilding industry, safeguarding the jobs of 600 workers in Scotland and many more across the UK. Investing in these warships will ensure we continue to keep our country safe, at home and abroad."

Michael Fallon, the UK Defence Secretary, continued: "This announcement is a clear vote of confidence in British industry and forms part of our commitment to invest over GBP160bn in equipment and equipment support over the next 10 years."

In a second announcement, John Hayes, UK Shipping Minister, has pledged support to the UK's water rescue charities by promising GBP5m for state-of-the-art rescue equipment.

The funds, which will help support around 20 charities across the UK, will be awarded before the end of March 2015, with up to GBP1m per year allocated for the next five years.

Shipping Minister John Hayes said: "As an island nation, the safety of our waters is paramount and our water rescue charities work tirelessly around the clock to save lives and protect the public from harm."

Brian Pemberton, chairman of the Royal Life Saving Society, said: "The Royal Life Saving Society is delighted to be receiving this money to help save lives. The grant will be used to purchase safety equipment for the use of our rescue boat crews when undertaking all-weather training and operational work. The grant will enable the Royal Life Saving Society to keep our rescue boats operational longer and ensure a greater degree of safety."

TAGS: marine

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