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7th October 2015 - Press Release

Port of Dover joins UK business powerhouse

The Port of Dover has joined the UK's leading business champions in the week the Government put the nation's transport infrastructure at the heart of its plans for building a better Britain.

The port - which oversees the busiest ferry operation in Europe and the second biggest cruise ship facility in the UK - has become a member of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The move will allow it to join forces with some of the biggest business voices in the country, and to fight Kent’s and Dover’s corners in the national arena.

Tim Waggott, the Port of Dover’s chief executive, said: “It makes perfect sense for us to join the CBI. It represents the most formidable businesses in the UK and we, by running a critical piece of national and international transport infrastructure, ensure trade keeps moving between the UK and Europe, while building opportunity for Dover.

“In a typical year we handle £100 billion of UK and European trade, 13 million passengers and 2.5 million freight vehicles – and those figures keep growing.”

The port’s announcement comes in the week when Chancellor George Osborne appointed former transport secretary Lord Adonis to head-up a new National Infrastructure Commission.

Lord Adonis believes that “without big improvements to its transport and energy systems, Britain will grind to a halt”.

Mr Waggott said: “Lord Adonis is absolutely right. We have to plan ahead and build now if we’re to meet the demands of the future.

“That’s why the Port of Dover has committed £85 million to upgrade its eastern docks, and the revival of the western docks has seen the port commit a further £120 million - its biggest ever single investment.

“Both infrastructure investments are crucial if we’re to ensure this important short-sea crossing between the UK and mainland Europe remains resilient in the years to come – as is getting a firm commitment from Government on key infrastructure decisions such as the Lower Thames Crossing.”

John Cridland CBE, the CBI’s director-general, said: “I am delighted to welcome the Port of Dover, a vital part of the local community and national economy, into membership of the CBI.

“The port works hard to boost growth and increase capacity, as we push on with shipping more great British products and services to high growth markets around the globe.

“There’s no doubt that ramping up our exports is key to rebalancing the economy, and to driving investment and jobs across the United Kingdom.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  • The port handles 13 million passengers, 2.5 million freight vehicles and £100 billion of UK/European trade.
  • The port supports 22,000 jobs, many of which are in the local community.
  • It has a shared vision to protect and enhance short and long term port capacity for the nation while delivering the catalyst for the regeneration of Dover.
  • Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) is a major opportunity that is acting as a catalyst for the regeneration of Dover.  It could create over 600 new quality jobs and safeguard another 140 by developing a new cargo terminal and port centric distribution facility.  This would revive the Western Docks, protect long term port capacity and enable the transformation of the Waterfront with the potential creation of a new marina.

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