Newly published research shows that U.K. ports and terminals have an estimated £1.7 billion ($2.36 billion) of port infrastructure investment in the development pipeline.
The research is part of the British Ports Association’s ‘Port Futures’ program and was undertaken by infrastructure advisory firm Moffatt & Nichol. It captures significant schemes all over the U.K. and highlights how ports in all parts of the U.K. are investing in new facilities to foster growth in the U.K. market.
“Ports are doing their bit but we rely on government to ensure that road and rail connections from the port gate are fit for purpose. The terrestrial and marine planning and consenting process is also cumbersome and costly and often holds back or even prevents some sustainable port development. We hope that this report helps government to develop an accurate picture of the investment that industry is making when developing its policies and making its own investment decisions regarding infrastructure,” said Mark Simmonds, the British Ports Association’s Policy Manager and BPA Port Futures program coordinator.
“This research demonstrates that U.K. ports are investing in new infrastructure to keep goods and people moving as efficiently as possible,” Simmonds added. “The U.K. ports industry operates in a competitive and commercial environment, independently of government, so this significant investment is at no cost to the taxpayer.”
The research was carried out by Joseph Collins, of Moffatt & Nichol. Commenting on the report, Collins said, “This report focusses on developments which have been announced in the press in the last 12 months and provides a snapshot of shows the potential scale of U.K. ports’ investment in infrastructure. Despite there being no guarantee that all of these projects will be fully realized, with greater engagement between key stakeholders such as government, the ports, investors and statutory bodies, the realization of these developments has the best chance of success. It’s also likely that there are a many more privately financed infrastructure projects planned or underway all around the country, which haven’t been discussed in public yet. Together, these projects help ensure that the 95 percent of U.K. trade that moves through our ports continues to do so as efficiently as possible.”
Moffatt & Nichol undertook the assessment using publicly sourced data taken from the last 12 months.
The British Ports Association will be writing to the Infrastructure Projects Authority to ensure that officials have a clear picture of industry investment, highlighting significant projects such as Aberdeen’s £350 million new ‘south harbor’ project and the Port of Tyne’s £38 million investment in in support of an overall £300 million development of a new biomass plant. There are over a dozen other significant port projects listed in the research. These projects were not included in the most recent ‘pipeline’ report from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority but demonstrate great optimism in infrastructure development and growth in the port sector.
The British Ports Association will also be working with its port members and will be keeping the list of investment up to date as new projects are announced.