News: Government funds 'shovel ready' maritime projects in England

By: Simon Eardley

Programme Manager
0151 231 2956 | 07920 053338

Tyne Dock

The Government is making £900 million available through the new Getting Building Fund (GBF) for investment in local, shovel-ready infrastructure projects to stimulate jobs and support economic recovery across the country. This investment is being targeted in areas facing the biggest economic challenges as a result of the pandemic. Individual allocations are awarded via Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) organisations around the country for a wide-ranging package of projects that will deliver a much-needed boost to the local economy.

LEPs are expected to deliver the agreed projects but will have flexibility to deliver the greatest economic benefits to the area. Significant changes to the projects must be discussed with the Government in advance, and all investment decisions must be undertaken in line with locally agreed audit and scrutiny arrangements.

18 maritime projects have been funded through the programme. 

Welcoming the funding, Maritime UK Chair, Harry Theochari, said:

“We welcome the news that such a significant number of maritime projects have been funded through the new Getting Building Fund - beating stiff competition from other sectors. 

"It’s good to see government recognising the potential of the maritime sector and, crucially, the capacity of the sector to support our recovery from COVID-19, and that of coastal communities in particular. 

"We now look forward to this Autumn’s Spending Review, where the sector needs to receive substantial government funding to drive maritime decarbonisation so that we can meet our net-zero obligations.”

Maritime projects funded across England:

New Anglia LEP

  • Great Yarmouth Strategic Seafront Regeneration: water and leisure visitor attraction. Redevelopment of a prime site on Great Yarmouth’s seafront, delivering a new, high-quality water and leisure visitor attraction, leveraging over £20m of additional funding. It is part of a series of major interventions that will de-seasonalise and rebalance the local economy and increase GVA of the Borough by £260m. 
  • Great Yarmouth Operations & Maintenance Campus. Creation of an Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Campus for the energy sector in Great Yarmouth. The project will capitalise on land in Borough Council ownership, close to the Southern North Sea wind farm arrays with access to deep water as well as the river port. Repairs and an enhancement package are required to make the facility more attractive for businesses investing here.

South East LEP

  • Maritime & Sustainable Technology Hub, Newhaven. Bringing back into use the former UTC building to provide educational facilities and commercial space for SMEs, especially those in the marine sector. 

North East LEP

  • Tyne Dock Enterprise Park. This project will accelerate EZ site clearance, remediation, site preparation and infrastructure to accommodate a strategic offshore wind end user. This site has recently been selected by Equinor/SSE to establish a major Offshore wind land-based hub to service the offshore wind farms off the North East coast.
  • Cross Tyne Ferry - new landing renewal and relocation. Replacement of ageing ferry landing, preserving access from North Shields to South Shields through construction of a new landing within the heart of the emerging North Shields Fish Quay regeneration area.
  • Robotics and Autonomous Systems Test & Validation Centre. RAS will be the first UK offshore wind centre for robotics and autonomous systems test and validation. Having key economic benefits in new direct jobs, research opportunities, encouraging investment and providing a test bed to support companies accelerating new product and service development.
  • Northumberland Energy Park Ph1 (NEP1). NEP 1 is a 15ha prime quayside strategic offshore energy EZ employment site on the Blyth Estuary.  Infrastructure works to prepare the site for an inward investor include dock enhancements, reclamation & remediation of the site. Funding will allow full site completion to be accelerated including the installation of a capping beam within the Dock, and additional site preparation to enhance investor attractiveness and port trade.
  • Wallsend EZ site . Strategically important riverside offshore wind EZ site. The project involves building demolition, infill of wetberth and Quays works to prepare the site for offshore wind sector.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

  • Port Salford Early Infrastructure Works Salford. This early works package would allow for acceleration of the Port Salford rail terminal project – to prepare a regionally significant site for logistics warehousing at Port Salford, adjacent to the A57, M60 and M62 and creation of a 28 acre rail freight terminal. This project includes the diversion of Salteye brook, site preparation including UU main diversion and works to progress securing freight paths from Network Rail to ensure Covid 19 delays are minimised for half of the consented warehousing. The indirect output of this work is accelerated delivery of commercial floorspace, jobs and the ability to link to international markets through the Manchester ship canal, a key sustainable gateway to and from the Port of Liverpool.

Lancashire LEP

  • Fleetwood Docks Mixed Use Regeneration Project - Fish Park & SME development and Enabling Works for Housing - Project Neptune. Project Neptune is the first phase of a transformational mixed-use development of Fleetwood Docks. It will pump prime the development and help bring forward the overall site in line with the aspirations for mixed use development in the Local Plan. This first phase includes the development of a modern purpose-built Fish Park and the enabling works to bring forward a first phase of serviced land suitable for waterfront residential development with high quality public realm. The Fish Park development will safeguard local jobs and allow new and existing SME businesses to grow.

Coast to Capital LEP

  • Hydrogen Engine Development Facility. The exciting potential for hydrogen-fuelled engines as an alternative clean technology where batteries are not suitable is gaining significant momentum with UK and EU customers. As a fuel, hydrogen generates no hydrocarbons so is part of the technology roadmap to reduce global warming. At present, facilities to test and develop engines using hydrogen are extremely rare, even in mainland Europe.  This project will modify one of the existing conventional engine test cells at Ricardo, Shoreham to support the development of this exciting technology in a fast, cost effective and timely manner. 

Solent LEP

  • Port of Southampton Cruise Terminal. A new fifth Cruise Terminal will deliver an iconic wave inspired building complete with solar generation and shore power, ensuring a world leading zero emissions facility for cruise vessels in port.
  • Enzyme Recycling Techniques - Building an Industrial Engagement Hub, Portsmouth. The £1.7m Centre for Enzyme Innovation (CEI) develops green recovery solutions for the breakdown of plastics, enabling their re-use, tackling one of the world’s greatest pollution challenges. The Industrial Engagement Hub creates a 281 sqm physical environment for companies to engage with the science,
  • Fawley Waterside Digital. Taking advantage of planned highway upgrades, this £1.5m project will facilitate upgrades to the network resilience of the waterfront community.
  • Woolston 'Silicon Wharf' – Low carbon marine logistics technology and control centre. The future of marine transportation is shifting towards low CO2 emission vessels and reduced crew. This will be realised through multi-role electric and hybrid robotic vessels. Establishing a hotbed of innovation around low carbon marine logistics and initiating collaborative projects with local tech companies and universities, this project will double the size of the control centre in Southampton and establish a robotic operator training centre, creating 100 high value jobs, training operators and support the supply chain.

Dorset LEP

  • Poole Harbour Commissioners - Border Control Post. This investment will support the construction of a Border Control Post at the Port of Poole. This facility will enable veterinary checks on animal products, as required as part of border controls due to be introduced for imports from the EU to the UK after the end of the Transition Period. The project will allow the Port of Poole to continue to operate effectively in the new trading environment, and to secure new business.
  • Poole Harbour Commissioners - Public Trade Office. This investment will support the construction of a Public Trade Office at the Port of Poole. Extensive freight clearance facilities will be required to facilitate the flow of freight traffic between the EU and the Port of Poole after the end of the Transition Period. This facility will enable efficient & effective processing of freight, which will allow the Port of Poole to continue to operate effectively in the new trading environment.

Heart of the South West LEP

  • Ilfracombe Water Sports Centre. The construction of a water sports centre and associated infrastructure on a brownfield site within Ilfracombe Harbour will support regeneration at the town’s main tourist attraction. The enhanced tourism offer could provide up to 100 jobs (directly and indirectly) and support up to 300 local businesses.