Demand for marina and mooring berths soars in UK

Bayscape Cardiff marina credit British Marine

British Marine has released the latest edition of its annual economic report, highlighting a post-pandemic bounceback across the marina and mooring market.

The report, UK Marina and Mooring Market Report 2021-22, provides insight into a wide range of economic indicators for the UK‘s marina and mooring sector. These are broken down into three sections: the UK marina and moorings sector, the inland marine and moorings sector and the coastal marina and moorings sector.

Of the 723 marinas in the UK, 173 took part in the survey (23 per cent of all marinas operating in the UK, providing 42 per cent of marina berths and moorings).

The report highlights that revenues from marina berthing income grew 13 per cent to £283m in 2021/22, reflecting the impact of the sector’s recovery from the pandemic on berthing demand and revenues.

Gross profits accounted for an average of 20 per cent of revenues per marina. Total gross profits related to marina berthing for the entire sector increased 32 per cent to £55m.

The sector’s direct Gross Value Added (GVA) contribution to UK GDP through marina berthing income increased 16 per cent to £127m from the previous year. The ‘added value’ created by the marina sector represents 45.1 per cent of total sector output.

Taking into account indirect and induced economic effects, from marinas’ supply chain spending and the spending of employees supported by marinas and their suppliers, the UK marina sector generated a combined total of £253m in GVA.

Despite increasing challenges from inflation and declining UK economic growth, marina businesses are optimistic about their market, with 54 per cent of members still positive about their company’s prospects, citing the continued effect of the pandemic boom in second-hand boat sales and demand for berths over the last year.

A reassuring 56 per cent of respondents report that demand for berths is still above pre-pandemic levels.

Occupancy rates for April 2022, at the start of the boating season, averaged 90 per cent across all mooring providers, with rates highest at inland marinas (91 per cent) compared to coastal ones (89 per cent).

Due to a surge in demand and rising inflation after lockdown the yield per berth (which, alongside occupancy, is a key metric for marina berthing productivity), grew 13 per cent to £3,551.

With supply increasingly strained, 19 per cent of marinas responding to the survey are looking to expand over the next 12 months, focusing on expansion of pontoon berths with only a small amount of dry storage planned.

“With the publication of this report we hope to provide a valuable insight for those businesses operating in the sector, to enhance knowledge, identify key trends over time and provide key capacity and occupancy information,” says Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine.

“It is encouraging to see that despite increasing challenges from inflation and declining UK economic growth, marina businesses are optimistic about their market and that demand for berths remains above pre-pandemic levels, with a number of marinas also looking to expand in the coming months.”

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