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Cash boost for Thames training

The Port of London Authority (PLA) is ploughing up to £50,000 into marine training on the Thames.

Over the next five years, the funding will help people working towards their new Boat Masters Licence (BML) boost their skills.

The authority, responsible for navigational safety on Britain's busiest river, has pledged to give a £500 grant towards the cost of training every new work-based BML trainee in the port. 

It will also meet the full cost of all BML 'Thames Local Knowledge Endorsement' courses, which equip future skippers with the skills they need to navigate the unique parts of the river through the built up city area.

Announcing the package at the World Maritime Day conference in London this morning, PLA chief executive Richard Everitt said:

"The Boat Masters Licence has raised the bar on the already high navigational safety standards.  The quality of, and ease of access to, training will be crucial to its success.

"The money we're making available isn't just good news for navigational safety, it's also an investment in the future of the Thames as the busiest inland waterway in the country.  Freight moved on the river helps keep nearly three quarters of a million lorry movements off the capital's congested roads every year."

The funding will also be used to develop a new Thames-specific lighterage or barge-handling course. And the PLA will make an annual donation to the Philip Henman Foundation - a charity that trains young people for careers on the river.

Contact: Martin Garside, Port of London Authority, Tel: 01474 562366.

Notes to Editors:

  • The Port of London Authority (PLA) is responsible for navigational safety and related matters on 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington in west London
  • The PLA provides navigational, pilotage and other services for users of the Thames
  • London is one of the top three ports in the UK and handles over 50 million tonnes of cargo each year. The Port comprises over 70 independently owned and operated terminals and port facilities at different locations on the Thames. These handle a wide range of cargoes
  • London also has a busy passenger boat trade for tourists and commuters and is a popular destination for international passenger cruise ships.
  • The tidal Thames is also used widely by those with small recreational craft of many types

Photos of activity on the Thames available on request from Martin Garside, PLA. Tel: 01474 562366.