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Government backing puts wind in sails of Middlesborough boat builders

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Family-owned shipbuilder, Parkol Marine Engineering, has announced the launch of its new vessel, Green Isle, which on completion will sail to the west coast of Ireland from Middlesborough, marking its expansion across the country.

The boat is the second to be built as a result of a new £3m Bond support package from UK Export Finance (UKEF).

The contract is the second exporting win for the business, with the first contract secured in 2020 for a 27-meter fishing trawler commissioned by Irish fishing company D&N Kirwan. UKEF’s Bond Support deal has helped Parkol and NatWest to provide security for the Buyer’s stage payments in the form of advance payment guarantees.

Louis Taylor, Chief Executive of UK Export Finance said, “The United Kingdom is charting a new course as an independent trading nation and maritime businesses are crucial to driving the Global Britain we are building towards. Now UKEF support is helping shipbuilders like Parkol to harness the benefits of maritime trade and to grow their business through exporting.”

The support from UKEF reiterates the government’s support for the UK’s maritime industry. Launching its new shipbuilding vision earlier this year, the government committed to investing over £4bn to support shipyards and suppliers across the UK, with new measures including better access to finance and vital skills-building.

Sally Atkinson, Director of Parkol Marine Engineering said, “Exporting has opened up new opportunities for our business. Thanks to UKEF’s support, we’ve unlocked another major contract and expanded our business in Ireland by delivering a high-quality vessel. We’re looking forward to continuing to capitalise on our exporting potential and reach new markets.”

Simon Heighes, Trade Director at NatWest said,“NatWest were once again delighted to support Parkol in partnership with UKEF on this second trawler export. As with the deal in 2020, the provision of the bonding facility facilitated a vital and timely injection of working capital in to the business. We very much look forward to assisting Parkol to fulfil future export contracts and continuing our support to many other exporters in the region”