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Southampton port workers applauded for docks' success
WORKERS at the port of Southampton have been congratulated for their efforts in making the city's docks an “engine for growth” in delivering a boost to the national economy.
Praise came from James Cooper, the chief executive of Associated British Ports (ABP), owners and operators of Southampton Docks.
Mr Cooper was speaking at a reception held in the magnificent surroundings of London's Trinity House to mark the 175th anniversary of the port of Southampton and the capital's International Shipping Week.
The event was attended by more than 100 guests including the Rt. Hon David Jones MP, Secretary of State for Wales; Stephen Hammond MP, educated in Southampton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport; Admiral the Rt. Hon Lord West of Spithead, former head of the Royal Navy; and His Excellency Thambynathan Jasudasen, the High Commissioner of Singapore.
Mr Cooper said the findings of the group’s recent economic impact study, showed that in 2012 ABP contributed £5.6 billion to the UK economy and supported 84,000 jobs. The study also demonstrated that ABP’s current planned investment of £450 million promises an extra £1.6 billion for the economy in the years ahead.
Mr Cooper said: “The success of this event demonstrates the strong support for an initiative to promote the UK port and maritime sector, recognising its essential contribution to our economy.
“The excellent turnout is also of course a tribute to the port of Southampton’s ongoing success as a leading international gateway.
“For example, a recent independent study by the Journal of Commerce has found that Southampton is the most efficient container port in Europe.
“Such achievements are thanks to the hard work of the team at the port, whose efforts, together with continued investment, will allow the port’s success to continue for many, many more years to come.”
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport Stephen Hammond, a former pupil of King Edward`s School in Southampton, said: “We are proud of the UK’s maritime heritage, and the commercial expertise in this area.
"Our ports industry is a fine example, it is an engine for growth, creating jobs and delivering a boost to the economy.
“Southampton is part of this and has a proud place in our maritime history, as well as a key role in the industry’s future as I saw for myself on a recent visit.”
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