News: Winners announced for inaugural Maritime UK Awards

The shining stars of the UK’s £46.1bn maritime sector were applauded last night (September 19) as the first ever Maritime UK Awards took place.

More than 400 of the industry’s finest attended a glittering ceremony in Southampton – fittingly right opposite the Southampton International Boat Show, Britain's biggest and best festival of boating.

The Maritime UK Awards were the first of their kind and, unlike many others before them, aimed to celebrate businesses and organisations from the entire spectrum of the sector – from leisure to shipping, professional services to ports and engineering to advanced manufacturing.

A highly respected industry panel performed the judging over the summer and last night the winners were announced as:

Diversity Award sponsored by Red Funnel

Winner: Spinnaker Global

Innovation Award sponsored by UK Ship Register

Winner: Shakespeare Monofilament UK

STEM Award sponsored by DFDS

Winner: Seafarers UK & Sea Cadets

Sustainability Award sponsored by the Royal Navy

Winner: Port of Cromarty Firth

Coastal Powerhouse Award sponsored by Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Winner: Mersey Maritime

International Trade Award sponsored by Portsmouth International Port

Winner: Actisense

Employer of the Year Award sponsored by Stellamar

Winner: Hill Dickinson

Start-up of the Year Award sponsored by DONMAC DATA

Winner: ARC Marine

Future Skills Award sponsored by Nautilus International

Winner: Cornwall Marine Academy

Rising Star Award sponsored by Western Union

Winner: Elsie Vrolijk, Royal HaskoningDHV

Business of the Year Award sponsored by PwC

Winner: Ribeye Boats

2050 Award sponsored by the Department for Transport

Winner: Red Funnel

Maritime UK Fellowship Award

Winner: David Dingle

Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK, said: “It was incredibly difficult for our judges to pick just one winner for each category, which is testament to the world-class work we have going on within this thriving sector. The UK’s maritime sector adds an impressive £46.1bn to the UK economy and supports over one million jobs so occasions like this are vital in showcasing success and sharing best practice.”

“Right now, there is a real buzz around maritime, and huge excitement about working together to capitalise upon the opportunities that we collective face. Bringing people together for events like this from different parts of the country and sector is really important to helping form the relationships and partnerships to take this work forward.”

Maritime UK has confirmed that last night’s inaugural awards were such a success that it is already working on next year’s event. In a bid to showcase the strength of the maritime sector in every corner of the UK, the awards will be held in a different location each year.

It has been revealed that Plymouth will host the event in 2020 and a special ‘handing over’ ceremony was performed as part of the awards last night.

Kevin George from Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which hosted this year’s awards and was instrumental in bringing the first event to the Solent, said: “It’s been a fantastic opportunity for us to welcome our peers from other parts of the UK to the Solent and show them first-hand the sheer strength and innovation of the sector here. In our region the maritime sector represents 20 per cent of the economy, supports 120,000 jobs and facilities trade worth a huge £77.5bn. They’re impressive figures and at Solent LEP we’re working hard to maximise the potential even further.”

To find out more about the Maritime UK Awards visit