Cancellation of the TAP Funding - Request for Reinstating or Replacing
The Department for International Trade (DIT) have announced, without warning or consultation, that they are cancelling their Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP). TAP grants, provide vital financial support for businesses to exhibit at international trade shows and are crucial for SMEs to access new markets and raise their profiles overseas.
In response to this announcement, SMI, Maritime UK and British Marine have come together to write a joint letter to the Minister for Exports urging DIT to keep or replace this essential lifeline. You can read the letter here.
Britain is a global leader in the maritime industry and without this governmental support we risk losing that title. The global maritime sector is set to double to $3trn by 2030 and without support from the government, Britain could lose this title.
To support this campaign to stop or amend the cancelling of TAP grants, we are encouraging members to contact their local MP using the template that can be found here.
Lesley Robinson, CEO at British Marine, said:
“This is a hugely disappointing decision made without any stakeholder consultation. With 40% of the UK leisure marine industry’s turnover derived from exports, these TAP grants, although small, are in fact a critical entry level enabler for the many SMEs within our sector, who, without it may not consider attending an overseas show at all. Without TAP grants, there now appears to be very little that DIT does to support SMEs getting a foothold in overseas markets.”
The cancellation of TAP is also feared to provide an unfair advantage to maritime businesses based in countries such as Denmark, Norway and Germany, whose governments maintain financial support mechanisms to first time exporters to appear at trade shows.
Ben Murray, chief executive of Maritime UK, said:
“If the cancellation of these grants goes ahead, the UK risks becoming an absentee at international trade shows.”
“This would come at the worst possible time, with industry looking to bounce back from the pandemic and make a success out of Brexit.”
“And this will hit our maritime sector particularly hard, threatening our leadership on green shipping, technology and services in the global industry. It also doesn’t bode well for the Prime Minister’s promise to ‘bring shipbuilding back home’, with our yards needing overseas orders to thrive.”
“The government talks about ‘Global Britain’, but for our innovative SMEs and shipbuilders, this will feel like isolation unless there is a change of course.”
Tom Chant, CEO of the Society of Maritime Industries, added:
“The TAP scheme has made a real difference for maritime SMEs and supported many of them to enter export markets.”
“It is vital this scheme is replaced with something bigger and better if we are to properly enable SMEs to compete on a level playing field against their international competition and crucial to retaining our status as a global maritime leader.”
Maritime contributes £46.1bn to the UK economy and supports more than one million jobs, with its worldwide appeal being a large part of its success.
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