Second gathering of maritime regions held in Plymouth

Maritime UK’s Regional Council held its second meeting in Plymouth on Tuesday (19th June).

The South Coast Marine Cluster hosted the gathering and shared its priorities for growing the £5bn contribution made by the maritime sector to the region’s economy.

These growth areas cover autonomy, advanced manufacturing and offshore wind.

The Regional Council was held as part of a programme of events around the Marine Tech Expo, at which Maritime UK’s John Murray will address delegates.  

Each of the regions provided an update on their work and provided suggested areas for collaboration.

Representatives from all corners of the UK including the Solent, Cornwall, East of England, the Humber, Merseyside and Scotland gathered at the recently constructed Oceansgate, Marine Technology Enterprise Zone in Plymouth, itself created by regional collaboration through the Plymouth and South West City Deal.  

Maritime UK’s Regional Council has been established to bring together regional maritime cluster organisations from across Britain.

The Regional Council is enabling clusters to engage with and influence the Maritime Sector Deal, an industry-government deal being negotiated as part of the government’s industrial strategy.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chairman of the Maritime UK Regional Council, and CEO of Mersey Maritime, said:

“The Maritime UK Regional Council creates an opportunity for each region to influence the national agenda, adding local strengths to the national mix. It has been great to get a better understanding of the scale of opportunity that exists to unlock economic growth on the South Coast.”

Anthony Payne, Chair of the South Coast Marine Cluster added:

“By bringing clusters together through the Regional Council we are starting to combine regional specialisms into national programmes to drive excellence. It’s true that we can achieve more together than we do alone, so I’m incredibly excited about what the UK’s clusters can do together with the rest of Maritime UK.”

The meeting in Plymouth focused on how the UK’s maritime economy can be developed; identifying regional priorities to feed into the Maritime Sector Deal and how regional clusters can engage with national programmes, including the Women in Maritime initiative.

At the meeting, clusters agreed to host the annual ‘Maritime UK Industry Awards’ on a rotational basis.

The Regional Council will next meet in Southampton during Maritime UK Week (10th-16th September)