UK maritime turbocharged with new £4 billion British shipbuilding strategy

Photo credit: Jack Eckersley - UK MOD © Crown copyright. Open Government License.

The International Trade Secretary today announced a new exports office to turbocharge the UK’s maritime trade sector as part of a £4 billion investment in shipbuilding.

The Maritime Capability Campaign Office (MCCO) will unite the Department’s defence export and civil maritime capabilities in one unit, targeting export opportunities estimated to be worth up to £600 million.

The MCCO will work with industry and the government’s National Shipbuilding Office to line up high-quality maritime trade opportunities for UK firms in the maritime sector looking to export worldwide.

It will form the exports and investment arm of the government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), announced today by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

The NSS will seek to increase competitiveness and productivity throughout the shipbuilding industry, investing £4 billion over the next three years to create jobs and help level up across the country.

It will include a 30-year cross-government shipbuilding pipeline of more than 150 new vessels, investing over £200 million in a new UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions to help fund green research and innovation, and a new Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce to bring the industry together and supply maritime businesses with the qualified workers they need.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan will launch the MCCO in a keynote speech to the 2022 Maritime UK Awards in Glasgow this evening.

The International Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said:

As an island nation with a proud maritime heritage, shipbuilding is a vital part of the UK’s industrial identity, supporting over 40,000 high-quality jobs across the country.

Our new Maritime Capability Campaign Office will champion exports and investments, unlocking opportunities for our world-class shipbuilding industry to export their innovative technologies, services and designs around the globe.

Working in lockstep with business, we will build on our world-leading maritime capabilities, strengthening our global reputation as a thriving maritime industrial base and leveraging our strengths in maritime defence and low-carbon technologies.

Today the International Trade Secretary will also publish the Board of Trade’s first paper of 2022, which outlines the huge opportunities in the maritime sector for boosting exports, reaching Net Zero and creating high-paying jobs across the country.

The new paper also outlines how the UK can cement its position as a world-leading maritime nation by capitalising on its strengths in technology, innovation, maritime services and regulation.

Ben Murray, Chief Executive of Maritime UK, said:

The government’s Maritime Capability Campaign Office can enable us to unleash our full exporting potential across the globe.

And what is good for maritime is good for the UK’s coastal communities, who can become the engine room for Global Britain.

We will be working closely with government to ensure these ambitions are met, on our way to becoming the world’s most competitive maritime nation by 2050.

Before speaking at the Maritime UK Awards in Glasgow, the Trade Secretary will also visit A&P Tyneside – the largest commercial dry dock on the East Coast – marking her first visit to North East England in her current post.

At A&P the Secretary of State will witness first-hand the cutting edge of the UK’s shipbuilding and ship repair industries, and explore options to boost the company’s maritime exports, as part of the NSS aim to generate a shipbuilding renaissance across the whole UK.

Global maritime trade levels are expected to treble by 2050 and the maritime sector already supports more than 220,000 jobs across the country.


  1. Need to drop the unrealistic green agenda. The forced timescale imposes financial penalties on individuals and business. The looming cost of living crisis should be the main focus.


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