Popularity of UK's canal network continues to grow

Inland marinas and the boats that visit them support the UK economy to the tune of over £150m per year, according to BMF statistics released today.

The study, Economic Benefits of Inland Marinas in the UK, was undertaken by the BMF in partnership with British Waterways (BW) and the Environment Agency (EA).

Key findings reveal that:
· There are at least 227 inland marinas in the UK, providing 27,700 berths.
· The added value of the provision of core marina berths is £23 million. This is based on the turnover of £47 million for the UK inland marina sector, which directly employs 889 people*.
· Every job in this core inland marina sector generates a further 10 jobs in the local economy. As a total, inland marinas support around 10,000 FTE jobs in local economies across the country, through on-site marina businesses, supply chain and tourism impacts.
· Visitors to inland marinas spend £71 million per annum, supporting an additional 1,775 local tourism jobs.
· The overall economic impact of inland marinas on Gross Value Added (GVA) is estimated to be seven times larger than that of the core inland marina activity. Therefore, the inland marinas sector is estimated to support around £155 million of GVA in the UK.

The study shows continuing excess demand for berths, in particular for larger boats. The sustained growth of marinas has also been driven by a consumer preference for marina berths over online moorings and an increasing demand for residential berths.

The study also outlines development issues facing marinas, such as increasingly stringent environmental and planning restrictions and physical space limitations.

The report also found that additional activities of marina operators support an additional 2,300 jobs and £35 million of added value
· On-site tenant businesses, at many inland marinas, directly support an additional 1,750 jobs and generate £34 million of value added
· Through the supply chain another 1,200 jobs are supported locally and £19 million of value added in local economies across the UK
· Indirect and induced effects and expenditures in the wider economy support an additional 3,600 jobs and £44 million of value added.