British Marine Unveils Comprehensive Report on the Economic Impact of the UK Leisure, Superyacht & Small Commercial Marine Industry for 2022-23
17 April 2024
by British Marine

Economic resilience of UK Marine Industry highlighted in latest report

British Marine, the membership organisation leading the UK leisure, superyacht, and small commercial marine industry, today released its brand new annual economic report titled "The Economic Benefits of the Leisure, Superyacht & Small Commercial Marine Industry, 2022-23."

Building upon its annual KPI reports from previous years, this new report offers an insightful overview of the industry's significant contribution to the UK economy, providing detailed analysis and statistics on industry turnover, Gross Value Added (GVA), employment figures, and the balance of trade concerning imports and exports.

It also presents Government statistics covering a range of other economic metrics relating to the financial performance of the UK economy and marine industry, as well as sentiment data derived from national and marine industry business and consumer surveys, monitoring quarterly sales performance, business outlook and business trading conditions.

Welcomed by Government, with Lord Davies of Gower, Minister for Maritime, International & Security, stating in his foreword, this "report offers a fascinating insight into the breadth and depth of the UK’s marine industry" and “highlights the important contribution of the marine industry to our wider economy.”

Despite the current global economic challenges, statistics for 2022/23 within the report illustrate how the marine industry has demonstrated its adaptability and resilience.

The report highlights a 12.5% growth in industry revenue, reaching an estimated £4.41 billion for the 2022-23 period. This growth has been partly fuelled by inflation, with prices rising approximately 4.7% above the average inflation levels. Moreover, the industry's direct Gross Value Added (GVA) contribution to the UK's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) saw a 6.7% increase to £1.68 billion. The industry’s direct workforce has also grown, with the number of full-time equivalent jobs having risen during 2022-23 by 6.6% to 38,336. That figure dramatically increases to an estimated 753,838 FTE jobs when taking account of the wider indirect economic contribution the marine industry has had on other sectors, such as on hospitality services.  This, combined with its increased GVA, underscores the sector’s vital contribution to the national economy.  

The UK marine industry has also made a notable impact on the international stage, with a 33.2% increase in exports, amounting to £937 million. This success is attributed to the global demand for UK-made boats, including sailing yachts, rigid inflatables, and luxury motor yachts, showcasing the UK's leading position in marine manufacturing and innovation. 

The report also sheds light on the positive trends in domestic demand which remained strong in 2022, with imports almost doubling in size over the year, growing 90.7% on 2021. It also highlights a surge in early career training, with Government statistics showing that apprenticeship starts have grown 23.3% (to 5,080), with 760 apprentices graduating in 2022-23, treble the number in 2021-22, signalling a positive outlook for its future growth and sustainability.

Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, commented on the report's findings, stating, "This report underscores the resilience and dynamic nature of the UK's marine industry amidst the challenging economic conditions of 2022-23. Our members have demonstrated remarkable adaptability, capitalising on both domestic and international opportunities to drive growth. The report not only highlights the economic significance of our industry but also reflects the collective efforts and dedication of British Marine members. "

Key Points from the report:

  • Resilient Growth: The industry has maintained growth amidst high inflation and declining consumer sentiment.
  • Economic Impact: The combined economic contribution of the marine industry estimated at £17.38 billion reflects its broad impact on the UK economy.
  • Global Demand: Strong export performance, particularly in sailing yachts, rigid inflatables, and luxury motor yachts.
  • Domestic Demand: Significant growth in imports driven by robust local demand for various boat types.
  • Workforce Development: Growth in full-time equivalent jobs and a surge in apprenticeship starts, emphasising the industry’s role in supporting employment and skills development.
  • Rise of the ‘Staycation’: Britons looked to domestic recreation as an antidote to cost of living challenges, seeing tourism grow year-on-year, with coastal charter and passenger boat excursions seeing greatest growth.

Lesley concluded by saying: "While our 2022-23 economic report shines a light on the significant achievements of the UK marine industry, it also brings into focus the ongoing challenges we face amidst the evolving economic landscape. Growth in industry revenue and a substantial increase in exports, are tempered by the high inflation rates and shifting consumer sentiment. Our industry's resilience and innovative capacity have been pivotal, yet the backdrop of a global slowdown and the need for continued adaptability remain clear. The surge in domestic demand and the remarkable increase in apprenticeships signal a vibrant future, yet they also underscore the necessity of addressing the skills gap and fostering sustainable growth amidst uncertainties.


“As we look to the future, British Marine remains committed to supporting and advocating for our members and the wider industry, ensuring the continued success and contribution to the UK economy. Our journey forward is one of cautious optimism, as we work together to harness opportunities while remaining mindful of the hurdles that we may face in the future.”

British Marine members can access the full report free of charge at   

Non-members can purchase a copy of the report for £500 by emailing info(at)

The Economic Benefits of the Leisure, Superyacht & Small Commercial Marine Industry, 2022-23 report was produced by British Marine’s Market Research and Statistics team.

British Marine is dedicated to providing robust market research and analysis to support its members and stakeholders, offering valuable insights to navigate the industry's future and publishes a wide range of market and economic research to promote and support the UK leisure, Superyacht and small commercial marine industry, including:

  • Biennial economic research providing insight on the economic performance and impact of the industry;
  • Bi-annual reports tracking key business trends across all marine industry sectors;
  • Annual market research tracking boating participation and ownership trends;
  • Reports quantifying the volume, value and key characteristics of boating tourism;
  • Reports exploring the marine industry labour market and skills, training and productivity in the industry;
  • And a host of other research reports providing insight on domestic and international leisure marine markets

These research reports are available for free to all members of British Marine and can be downloaded directly from the British Marine website (member log-in required). British Marine also provides a bespoke analytical service to support members’ individual needs.

To learn more about market research at British Marine, please contact info(at)

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