New industry data from the British Marine Federation has shown that the UK leisure boat industry grew by 1% in the 2013/14 financial year

The UK leisure boat industry grew by 1% last year, despite a sluggish Eurozone economy, according to the latest report from the British Marine Federation (BMF).

This third consecutive rise brought the industry’s total revenue up to £2.93 billion, 68% of which was generated in the domestic market.

What’s more, 90% of BMF members said they were positive about future prospects, marking a 2% increase on the figure for 2012/13.

Howard Pridding, chief executive of the British Marine Federation, said: “The rising confidence of our members paints the picture of a resilient industry on the up, despite economic headwinds in challenging overseas markets.”

The Eurozone as a whole faced a much tougher financial year for 2013/14, with an 8.7% reduction in exports, making the UK’s figures all the more remarkable.

Boating jobs

Employment in the UK leisure boat industry has also grown, rising to 31,500 equivalent full-time jobs – an increase of more than 800 jobs in just 12 months.

Meanwhile the apprenticeship programme has seen 200 young people take their first step into the boating industry in 2013/14.

To help protect this growth, the BMF is calling on the coalition government to ringfence the Tradeshow Access Programme in order to support the exporting efforts of small and medium-sized enterprises in the boat industry.

“We want to see this continue in 2015 and for the government to get behind us even more with increased support for exporters and for apprenticeships,” Mr Pridding added.