Shoreham Port was delighted to welcome Shipping Minister Nusrat Ghani and local MP Tim Loughton to its docks today.
It was an excellent opportunity to show the minister around Shoreham Port and discuss its activity – a typical coastal port handling a range of break bulk cargoes such as timber, steel, aggregates, woodchip and grain.
Informative and open discussions were held in the board room on Shoreham Port’s operations and Masterplan, which was revised less than a year ago. The Port’s Masterplan sets out the strategy and proposals for the future development of the Port over the next twenty years.
As the Port is at the heart of its local community, with over 20,000 residents living within one mile, it was good to have the continued support of local MP Tim Loughton. Over 1,600 local jobs are provided on the footprint of the Port, with further jobs being created at the new Lady Bee Enterprise centre.
The wider role of the British Ports Association (BPA) and the UK ports structure was discussed in detail, covering many important subjects, such as ferry ports, customs union, national freight strategy and connectivity. The BPA continues to work closely with the Department for Transport and the minister on these key issues and welcomes the open and constructive dialogue.
A recent study underlines the vital contribution the ports industry makes to the UK economy, handling nearly 500 million tonnes of freight and supporting the economy by accommodating 95% of all UK trade. The ports industry also employs 101,000 people and adds £7.5 billion in Gross Value Added to the UK economy. It was also emphasised how coastal ports are an essential component of the UK’s infrastructure, in order to take freight off the road and reduce air pollution.
Despite the snow and freezing temperatures over the past few days, Nusrat Ghani took part in a tug tour of the East Arm of the Port, to see first-hand the cargoes, fishing boats and leisure activities.
Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said “It was fantastic to visit Shoreham and see first-hand the workings of a thriving coastal port. The Port’s Masterplan will be vital in supporting the community’s residents and businesses in the long term, as well as helping to protect the environment. The visit was a good opportunity to discuss the challenges facing the port industry and how we can work together to resolve them.”
Rodney Lunn, Chief Executive at Shoreham Port and Chairman of the BPA said “We were delighted to welcome the minister to Shoreham Port and demonstrate the importance of coastal ports to the local and regional economy, as well as discuss the national picture and emphasise the need for investment in the UK’s transport network. The day was very productive and positive.”