DfT launches UK SHORE to take maritime ‘back to the future’ with green investment

Thousands of ships, cruises and vessels will become greener and cleaner with £206 million investment to support zero emission sailing and skilled maritime jobs, as part of the Government’s Shipbuilding Strategy.

Taking steps to cement the UK’s role as a world leader in shaping the future of transport, the Government will create its first office purely dedicated to making maritime greener – pioneering new research and development of technology which could make journeys by sea as green as they were hundreds of years ago.

Known as the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE), the new unit will be housed in the Department for Transport, building on the success of the UK’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) launched last year.

Dedicated to creating a world free from shipping emissions, UK SHORE will implement a comprehensive R&D programme, including a multi-year clean maritime demonstration competition, and will work in partnership with industry to tackle supply and demand issues with ship building and help build greener vessels – from cruises, to tankers to and leisure boats.

UK SHORE will also help develop the infrastructure to enable zero emission technologies, and the physical infrastructure needed to power these new-age vessels. The programme will include a multitude of technologies including hydrogen, electric and ammonia, and this funding will place the UK among the leading nations in the development of new and innovative vessels and port infrastructure, supporting its rich maritime industry and coastal communities.

Funding under UK SHORE will relaunch manufacturing hotspots across the UK, creating new skilled jobs and opportunities while levelling up local economies.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: 

“Climate change is a global challenge and it’s essential that, with our maritime sector’s rich history of green travel, dating back thousands of years, we tackle shipping emissions.

“I want UK-SHORE to take the industry back to the future. The age of the sail was the first green maritime age; new technology will bring us to a second green age.

“And as we turn the tide for green shipping, I can’t wait to see thousands of new jobs created around the country too – from masterful shipbuilding to the high-tech sailors of tomorrow.”

Following the highly successful CMDC round in 2021, the extension of the competition will boost the UK’s position as a world leader in zero emission vessel technologies. Details of the funding will be revealed in the coming months and it will be open to a range of UK innovators – from small businesses to universities.

The Maritime Minister announced the new funding today in Southampton docks and said:

Maritime Minister Robert Courts said:

“We are building a green maritime legacy for generations to come.

“This is the biggest single investment in green shipping in the past hundred years, and is a further demonstration that the Government is committed to working with the sector to develop the green shipping technologies of tomorrow.”

Reiterating the Government’s commitment to wiping out carbon emissions from transport, the funding boost is a major step towards the UK Government’s aim for all vessels to be zero emission by 2050, and signals a green industrial revolution that will transform the shipbuilding enterprise into a technological powerhouse, strengthening the UK industry’s competitiveness.

The Government will deliver this ambitious programme in parallel with regulatory changes, ensuring a strategic approach to the transition to zero emission shipping as the Government continues to implement its Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

Maritime UK CEO, Ben Murray, said:

“We’ve always been an island of maritime pioneers, and this investment will ensure this will long continue, by helping the UK develop its role as a global centre for maritime decarbonisation.

“The establishment of UK-SHORE, and extension of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, can enable us to create the innovative green solutions at home, and in turn, export these across the world.

“And this will create new jobs across our coastal communities, helping them realise their potential of becoming green engines for economic growth. Maritime UK and its members will be working more closely than ever with government to ensure these ambitions are met.”

UK SHORE will deliver a suite of interventions inspired by our experience of decarbonising other transport modes. It will look at programmes such as the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, transforming the UK into a global leader in the design, manufacture and operation of clean maritime technology.