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Port of Dover Presents its Bold Agenda for Dover and the UK at Party Conference Events & Launches ‘Port of Dover 2050’


The Port of Dover, the UK’s busiest passenger and roll-on roll-off Port, is presenting its bold agenda for a bright and ambitious future for Dover and the UK this month, showcasing industry-leading partnerships with present and future Governments at recent party conferences, and today launching ‘Port of Dover 2050’, it’s strategic long-term master planning programme. 

At the Conservative and Labour party conferences, the Port of Dover hosted its popular ‘Great British Trade Reception’, attended by policymakers, industry colleagues and ministers alike, including Secretary of State for Transport Rt Hon Mark Harper MP and Trade & Economic Security Minister Nusrat Ghani MP in Manchester, and Shadow Trade Minister Gareth Thomas MP, Shadow Transport Minister Bill Esterson MP and Dover’s prospective parliamentary candidate Mike Tapp in Liverpool.

The Port of Dover showcased its ambitious policy agenda, championing Britain as a global trading power and Dover’s leading role within this, empowering one-third of the UK’s Trade with its largest single trading partner, the EU, to an enthusiastic response from both conferences. 

Alongside the plaudits of the political speakers for the critical role and dynamism of the port and the partnerships it is forging across government, industry and academia, Doug Bannister, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover, revealed the accelerating role Dover is taking in championing rapid decarbonisation, including plans to achieve the UK’s first high-volume shipping corridor as part of a rapid journey to net zero across key supply chains. Mr Bannister also highlighted exciting work on harnessing digitisation to maximise UK productivity, as well as the need to work together with governments on a remote and digitally led solution for the incoming EU Entry-Exit system, and our current work with best-in-class universities to drive innovation through AI and machine learning to enhance operations. 

Alongside its ambitious agenda for the near term, the Port of Dover is also focused on securing long-term prosperity for the nation and, following such strong and wide-ranging political support, is today launching ‘Port of Dover 2050’, its programme to develop a strategic long-term master plan to become the UK’s most seamless, sustainable, and tech-enabled port and a symbol of national trade resilience and future growth.

Commenting on the Port of Dover 2050 programme, Doug Bannister, said:

“To achieve our vision, we need to understand where we need to be planning for change and investing for the future. Port of Dover 2050 is our comprehensive roadmap to the future, which will consider everything from transport and infrastructure, to how we use our land, how we grow as a business and importantly, how we as a Port can best support the economic and social development of Dover, Kent and the UK as a net zero society. The way we travel, do business, live and work, shop, socialise, and spend our time are all being influenced by changes in the way we live and work, technological advances, the nature of the economy, our climate and environment. Port of Dover 2050 will ensure that we are ready to take advantage of the opportunities these changes present and be resilient in the face of the challenges they may bring.”

“Throughout the 2050 process, we’ll be engaging with national and local government, Dover and Kent residents, Port users, customers and our community as well as harnessing the expertise of our own port employees. In Spring 2024, we will be opening a public consultation, to hear the views of as many people as possible to inform our plans so that Dover can remain an iconic strategic asset delivering significant local and national economic benefit. The final plan will be published in Summer 2024 when we will report back on how feedback has influenced the development of the 2050 plan.”

“As we kick things off this Autumn, we’re asking people to visit our engagement page and pin a memory or aspiration for the Port, and help us reflect on our heritage, look ahead to the future and shape the Port of Dover of 2050.”

Ana Ulanovsky, Ports & Maritime Leader at Arup, who is supporting the Port of Dover 2050 programme, said: “Arup is delighted to continue its strong relationship with the Port of Dover and support shaping its masterplan for the next thirty years. The Port is of national and international significance with a proud history and an exciting future. It is a critical time for the maritime industry as it navigates a period of transformation, from decarbonisation and digitalisation to developing future skills. Arup’s multi-disciplinary team looks forward to engaging with users of the Port, its customers and the local community as we build a plan which meets the needs as well as the aspirations of all stakeholders.”


Images can be downloaded here until 19/10/23.

For further press information and images

Port of Dover

T: +44 (0) 1304 240 400 Ext. 4410

M: +44 (0)7741 164 971


Notes to Editors

Further information on Port of Dover 2050 can be found on the engagement page here.

About Arup

Dedicated to sustainable development, Arup is a collective of designers, consultants and experts working globally. Founded to be humane and excellent, we collaborate with our clients and partners, using imagination, technology and rigour to shape a better world.

About Port of Dover   

The Port of Dover is the busiest international ferry port in the UK, with two million cars and 11 million passengers passing through the Port every year. Dover also processes 2.4 million trucks per year, more than all other UK ports. In total, the Port of Dover deals with £144bn of trade in goods each year, and 33% of the UK’s trade with the EU, supporting businesses across the nation.   

With a cargo business handling fresh produce, containers, project cargo, general cargo, grain and Ro-Ro traffic operating from a state-of-the-art terminal next to the world’s busiest shipping lane and on the quickest sea route to Europe, Dover is building for the future.    

In addition, Dover is the UK’s second busiest cruise port, welcoming more than 25 cruise lines and 200,000 guests each year. The Port also has a marina and property business primed to benefit from a new waterfront.   

The Port of Dover holds ambitious net zero targets, placing it at the vanguard of decarbonisation within the UK ports industry. More information on the targets can be found here. The Port’s focus on sustainability is driving it forward, enabling the team to keep the Port of Dover at the heart of international trade and tourism, and contributing value as a key gateway, employer, business and community partner.