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Police Scotland backs return of boat building on the Clyde

Shipbuilding on the Clyde is being boosted by Police Scotland with the trial of a recyclable boat.

A boat designed with officers to reduce carbon emissions is set to begin operational trials in a £7m project.

Police Scotland’s Dive and Marine Unit is assessing a new search and rescue boat that has been developed on the Clyde and pioneers a recyclable composite material.

The vessel is the first of a new range being built at Ultimate Boats, the Glasgow boatyard owned by ExoTechnologies.

The prototype is the result of a £7m development programme to create a sustainable search and rescue boat that doesn’t use fibreglass and is more fuel efficient.

The new craft has a top speed of 50 knots and an operating range of 400 nautical miles.

Pioneering use of flow design principles developed by the aircraft industry in its hull enables more efficient movement through the water, creating more stable response with less slamming impact and increased fuel savings.

Plus the latest radar technology will improve search dives for missing people.

It will be put through its paces for other potential buyers in Southampton next week, the culmination of a project that began in 2020.

Police Scotland’s team worked closely with the company to develop the boat and gave inputs into the design and specification to ensure it was fit for operational purposes.

The force will assess the boat over the next three years, adding to its current fleet.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams, lead for Operational Support, said: “This unique opportunity should allow us to benefit from a high performing asset that will make a positive difference to our capability.

“We have a duty to explore new projects that look to improve the working environment for our officers and staff, as well as the response we can provide to the public.”

UK policing will also be interested; Hampshire’s boat team revealed in an interview with Police Oracle that they are looking at options to help reduce the force’s carbon emissions.

And the procurement group for forces, Blue Light Commercial is also looking at recyclable boats.

That’s potentially good news for the firm which wants to create 300 jobs on the banks of the Clyde which was once one of the world’s biggest ship building locations.

ExoTechnologies Founder and CEO, Shane Mugan, said: “We are proud that this pioneering and internationally significant project is being delivered in Scotland, by our talented Clyde-based workforce, in partnership with Police Scotland.

He added: “Police Scotland’s boat marks a significant breakthrough in transforming boat building. 

"It demonstrates how the UK maritime industry continues to develop market leading technologies capable of accelerating the green transition to a circular economy.”

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