Coastal marina sector worth over £500 million to UK economy

A new comprehensive study of coastal marinas in the UK and Channel Islands has revealed the vital role played by marinas in economic development. The report, entitled Economic Benefits of Coastal Marinas of the UK and Channel Islands, shows that the sector directly employs over 1,700 people, supports the employment of 22,000more people and has a value added of over £500million a year to the British economy. There are significant benefits to local economies in terms of supply chain businesses and tourist jobs.

The report that was launched at the Southampton Boat Show, was commissioned by the British Marine Federation, in partnership with The Crown Estate, Jersey Harbours and was supported by The Yacht Harbour Association.

The report presents a national assessment of the economic contribution of coastal marinas, including nine detailed case studies from around the country. The analysis looks at all aspects of this contribution, from onsite businesses to supply chain,marine industry and tourism and leisure impacts.

The survey found that:

1. The core coastal marinas sector in terms of operations only employs over 1,700 people and turns over £113million a year. This figure excludes the diversity of activities, which range from boat maintenance and repair to boat sales which have been considered as part of the wider assessment.

2. Every job in the core marina sector supports a further 12 jobs in local economies.

3. The coastal marinas industry contributes more than £500million in gross value added to the UK and Channel Islands economy and may be as high as £700 million.

4. Boating visitors to coastal marinas spend over £200million annually, supporting an estimated 5,350 local tourism jobs.

5. On site businesses located at coastal marinas employ over 11,600 people and generate revenue of £280million of value added.

6. The coastal marine industry and the spending of their employees supports 4,200 jobs and £109million of value added in supply chain businesses.

Rob Stevens, Chief Executive of the British Marine Federation said: “I strongly welcome the publication of this report, which demonstrates the significant contribution of the coastal marinas sector in both value and employment terms to the UK economy and highlights the importance of securing access to the water. Marinas in the UK provide a focus for boating activity and a safe environment from which to plan adventures afloat with friends or family, explore our coastline or take part in the excitement of racing. They offer a huge variety of facilities and many sites are important centres of employment, with some playing a key role in regeneration and being visitor attractions in their own right. This report is essential reading for all those involved in shaping policy, setting out land use and economic strategies and making decisions about development plans around our coastline.”

Roger Bright, Chief Executive of The Crown Estate added: “As the major tidal landowner in the UK, The Crown Estate is delighted to have supported the production of this report into the economic benefits of marinas. We are taking an increasingly active interest in the economic opportunities that marinas and other coastal developments can provide in supporting coastal communities. This report, which summarises the contribution of coastal marinas to the UK economy, will be an important tool for decision makers involved in the planning and development of future coastal strategies.”

(Thanks to the Crown Estate for this report)

from Cruising, Feb 2008