British Ports Association Releases Port Planning White Paper

Credit: BPA
Credit: BPA

Published Nov 21, 2019 6:20 PM by The Maritime Executive

ABPmer and the British Ports Association (BPA) have published a white paper highlighting how masterplanning can contribute to growth in coastal regions as well as help ports communicate their strategies and visions to stakeholders.

A masterplan outlines how a port intends to respond to change. It begins with what is happening at the port now, and why. It then explains what needs to happen in future. By going through the masterplanning process, ports can describe how they can facilitate development and investment whilst building in stakeholder interests. 

The BPA is calling on central, regional and local policy makers to take note of port masterplans so the potential of ports can be included in wider strategies.

The BPA's Chief Executive, Richard Ballantyne said: “At a time when sub national and regional bodies are exploring initiatives to drive growth and investment, this report highlights the potential and process through which ports can transmit their aims and aspirations to policy makers.

“We are also keen that the UK Government updates its Port Masterplanning Guidance for English ports which hasn't been refreshed for over a decade. This needs reviving, and we'd like to encourage some discussion with the devolved administrations as to how masterplanning might be recognized in other parts of the UK.”

The paper highlights that port masterplanning deals directly with two of the most challenging issues facing the ports industry: first, understanding the nature of the rapid commercial, environmental, technical and social changes that are expected to hit economies over the coming decades; second, responding appropriately to such changes. 

The masterplanning process can help communicate the work ports are doing to engage with, and benefit, their local communities. The BPA has compiled some examples of community and stakeholder initiatives across UK ports. The BPA wants to signal that not only do ports act as national hubs and drive regional growth, they also strive to give back and support their local communities.

The white paper is available here.