BPA publishes agenda for new government

The British Ports Association (BPA) has today published an agenda that outlines the ports industry’s requests of government for the coming years.

The BPA’s 2020 New Government Briefing outlines how industry and government can work in partnership to deliver for ports and fuel a successful economy. As the new Government takes shape, the briefing paper outlines the leading topical issues that the UK ports industry is currently facing.

The BPA is the national association for ports, harbours and terminals, speaking for over 100 port authorities. We represent the interests of a diverse group of ports to all tiers of government. Our membership accounts for 86% of all tonnage and 100% of the 60 million passenger journeys through ports each year. BPA member ports also handle 85% of all vessel arrivals. We also represent all the UK’s main energy gateways, 19 of the top 20 fishing ports and an extensive network of ports and harbours that facilitate over one million leisure craft and yachts.

The New Government Briefing establishes the key policy areas we want to work with government on over the next five years in order to maintain, and progress, the prosperity of the sector - to the benefit of the whole nation.

The briefing outlines our requests of Government to utilise ports to ‘re-charge’ the national economy, including;

  1. An inclusive Freeports strategy which allows ports of all type and location to be engines of growth regionally and nationally
  2. Priority given to public funding of road and rail connections to ports and support for local authority budgets
  3. An efficient and streamlined planning and consenting regime for port activity and developments
  4. Reinforcement of UK content rules for offshore wind developments

Commenting, Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive, at the British Ports Association said:

“The next five years are pivotal for ports as this parliamentary term represents a real moment of opportunity to re-charge the sector. Ports are at the heart of the infrastructure that allows Britain to remain outward facing and trade as a global player on the world stage. This briefing paper offers Government an agenda to strengthen key policy areas, allowing the ports industry to grow stronger than ever.

Within the document, we record how we are looking forward to working with government to build a successful Freeports policy that works for all ports around Britain. As well as collaborating on the sustainable agenda for the industry and working towards net-zero emissions in shipping. This paper highlights what the ports industry needs from government to flourish, ultimately to the benefit of the entire nation.”

Based on collaboration with government, the agenda outlined in the New Government Briefing also notes the responsibility that the industry has to government in return, including;

  1. Continuing to facilitate 95% of Britain’s international trade
  2. Providing a skilled workforce that contributes to the health of the national economy; with £77,358 GVA per job, compared to the national average of £54,330
  3. Striving to minimise environmental impacts and work with Government for a greener Britain; easing congestion through coastal shipping and supporting Britain’s world leading offshore energy industry

The BPA has written to the new maritime minister, Kelly Tolhurst, to arrange an early meeting, in which we will be presenting this briefing paper.