Page 44 - LISW19 Post-Event Report
P. 44

WEDNESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER
UK PORTS INDUSTRY
The UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG), British Ports Association (BPA)and Port Skills & Safety hosted a reception for the UK ports industry, which was addressed by Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani. Ports are a fundamental part of the supply chain, she told guests, but there has been a “general
lack of awareness of the importance of ports”. She acknowledged that the government needed to do more on infrastructure to support the sector, and said: “Of course, ports and connectivity and infrastructure are absolutely important.” BPA chairman Martin Lawlor said: “UK ports, despite being crucial to UK plc, have largely operated under the radar for the last few years, because we go about our business ef ciently, successfully and with no cost to the taxpayer. But we must not underestimate or forget our ports.” UK ports contribute £9.7 billion to the UK economy and directly employ 115,000 people, while supporting half a million jobs in the wider supply chain and these are largely located in the coastal communities which aremostinneedofeconomicregeneration.” CharlesHammond,chairman of UKMPG, said: “We need to be more aggressive about communicating our contribution to the UK economy, in getting essential goods and services into people’s homes and maintaining and improving their quality oflife. “Wealsoneedtolookforwardtothefuture–andwehavetowork effectively together. Trading and our trading relationships have never
been more important, so now is the time to cement our place as a leading industry in the UK.” He said that government’s Freeports initiative could be a way to encourage regional investment in coastal areas of deprivation but calledforanopenandtransparentprocess. CharlesHammondalsocalled on the government to make the planning system more  exible and give the ports sector development rights in line with airports.
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