September 2021

Maritime UK Regional Council: Thursday 14 September 2021

Regional Round-up

Mersey Maritime - Chris Shirling-Rooke/Simon Eardley

  • Mersey Maritime is honoured to be receiving a visit by HRH The Princess Royal on 17 September 2021. HRH will receive a briefing from Chris Shirling-Rooke and Simon Eardley on progress in delivering the national priority work around regional growth, meet key Mersey Maritime members and partners and then visit the site of the proposed new £23 million Maritime Knowledge Hub at the Wirral Waters regeneration site in Birkenhead. Read more following the visit here:
  • The 7th Mersey Maritime Industry Awards have been a major focus over the last quarter with the event scheduled to be held on 17 September 2021. Nearly 500 guests are anticipated with the Maritime Minister, Robert Courts MP, as the scheduled keynote speaker. HRH The Princess Royal has also prepared a welcome video. Full details following the event can be read here:
  • In partnership with Western Union Business Solutions, Bibby Marine, Geollect, Maritime Digital Hub and Peel Ports Group, Mersey Maritime will host a breakfast seminar on innovation at LISW (15 September). The event is titled: ‘Innovation doesn’t have to be revolutionary. How small incremental changes can make a big difference’ and will take place at the UK Chamber of Shipping. Around 100 people are expected to attend either in-person or online.
  • Since the last Regional Council, Mersey Maritime have continued to deliver priority engagement on key themes such as ‘EU Transition.’ Events were held with Jos Standerwick of Maritime London in July and Tim Morris of the UK Major Ports Group in August. The Shadow Secretary of State, Jim McMahon MP, and Shadow Maritime Minister, Mike Kane MP, visited Mersey Maritime on 02 August 2021 for a briefing. More details here:
  • Future events include a Face-2-Face with Peel Ports Group in October (the first ‘on the road’ as it will take place in a member’s office, Brabners, in Liverpool) and a dedicated ‘Policy Forum’ with the team leading the HyNet North West project (HyNet North West). Mersey Maritime will also consider holding an event during COP26 to focus on the region’s work around net zero and decarbonisation.

Read the latest editions of the Mersey Maritime Ezine here:

Scottish Maritime Cluster – Duncan Cunningham and Brian Fulton

  • The Scottish Maritime Cluster hosted a successful reception for London International Shipping week at Dover House (Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland) on 13 September 2021. Maritime Minister, Robert Courts MP, attended and addressed the meeting together with Alister Jack MP (Secretary of State for Scotland) and Graeme Dey MSP (Minister for Transport in the Scottish Government).
  • The SMC will be engaged with the events around COP26, including a ‘Net Zero’ focused members’ meeting in advance of the main conference. This is provisionally scheduled for 13/14 October 2021 and further details will be circulated in due course to the wider network.
  • Challenges remain in terms of navigating the relationship between the Westminster government and Holyrood but dialogue on matters of mutual interest remains ongoing around the crucial importance of maritime to the Scottish economy and future prosperity.
  • It is expected that the Regional Cluster Development Programme team will visit Scotland in the autumn to further support the development and long-term sustainability of the SMC. [This has subsequently been set for 12 October 2021].
  • The SMC Executive team continue to engage with members. The most recent members’ meeting was held on 12 August 2021 with contributions from Maritime UK and BMT Global and discussion around LISW activity and plans for COP26. Output from the recent round of one-to-one member discussions was also assessed.
  • Douglas Lang, chair of the Scottish Maritime Cluster, will participate in the LISW Coastal Powerhouse Day. There was a pleasing response from cluster members to the call-out for video collateral support for the MUK co-ordinated project that has been underway during the summer.
  • The SMC will support the Maritime UK Awards when there is a settled date and look forward to engaging their members with this activity.
  • The cluster looks forward to the outcome of the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) economic impact report which is funded by Transport Scotland and co-ordinated in collaboration with Maritime UK.
Team Humber Marine Alliance – Camilla Carlbom Flinn

  • Team Humber Marine Alliance and Grimsby Renewables Partnership are moving forward with plans to merge and create one of the UK’s leading renewables and maritime business development organisations. A combined membership of almost 300 Humber businesses will be involved, across the offshore wind, marine engineering and related sectors. More here:
  • Engagement is ongoing around progressing the Freeport status announced for the region following the March 2021 Budget announcement. More information here:
  • THMA is partnering with The Humber Offshore Wind Cluster (together with other cluster members including the ORE Catapult) in the delivery of the Renewable UK Global Offshore Wind event on 29/30 September 2021 in London. Event overview here:
  • Siemens Gamesa will expand its offshore blade factory in Hull, England by 41,600 square metres, more than doubling the size of the manufacturing facilities.
Hydrogen on the Humber. 

  • Equinor and SSE Thermal have announced a Humber hydrogen storage proposal for a £290m joint venture site. This will be one of the world’s largest storage sites for hydrogen building on the work of both companies who already own a major gas storage facility under agricultural land in coastal East Yorkshire. Both SSE and Equinor are behind plans for a hydrogen-fuelled power station at Keadby, south of the Humber, with Equinor developing a hydrogen production plant, H2H Saltend on the North Bank.
  • The Regional Cluster Development Team are scheduled to visit THMA in the autumn for stakeholder engagement and support. This is expected to take place in October (now scheduled for early November.)
Belfast Maritime Consortium – David Tyler

  • First six apprentices as part of the scheme launched in July 2021 in collaboration with Belfast Metropolitan College have started. They will focus on composite manufacturing as part of a three-year course of study and practical activity. There is a strong wish to build on this work going forward.
  • The (then) Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport visited lead partner of the BMC, Artemis Technologies, in late August. The Minister met Dr Iain Percy, CEO of Artemis Technologies, and the senior management team to see the company’s digital design work which will create transformative marine technologies and a new range of zero-emission vessels. More here: UK Digital Minister Visits Artemis Technologies - News | Latest Stories | Artemis Technologies
Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition. 

  • The Northern Ireland Green Seas consortium has been awarded nearly £400,000 by the UK Department for Transport to investigate ways to decarbonise maritime transport in Northern Ireland. This will be through using zero-emission shore-side electricity and hydrogen-powered vessels. The NI Green Seas consortium project is led by Power NI, part of Energia Group, in collaboration with Belfast Harbour, Artemis Technologies, NIE Networks, Ulster University, Queen’s University Belfast and global engineering firm, Mott MacDonald.
  • Artemis Technologies contribution towards efforts to further the decarbonisation of the shipping industry have been highlighted in a new programme produced by the UK Chamber of Shipping, ‘Making Waves: The Future of Shipping.’ Available here:
  • The team participated in the Belfast Maritime Festival, 04/05 September 2021.
Maritime UK South West / Cornwall Marine Network – Sheldon Ryan and Paul Wickes

  • Focus around floating offshore wind continues apace, particularly within the £3/4 million Cornish Flow Accelerator Programme. Concern remains about the lack of port infrastructure available to service this major growth opportunity.
  • Celtic Sea Alliance will launch in September. A collaboration between Cornwall, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.
  • Strength in Places bid was not successful. South West Floating Offshore Wind Accelerator.
  • The first South West Inshore and Offshore Marine Plan adopted by the Defra Secretary of State in June 2021 alongside similar in the North East, North West and South East.
  • Clean Maritime Group. Second forum is now coming together.
  • Aquaculture cluster. AGM taking place later this year.
  • MEZ activity. Investigating opportunities to collaborate with the Royal Navy for the South West.
Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition. Successful SW bids announced as follows:

  • Data Led Emissions Management (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Concept Systems Ltd, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult).
  • Transition to hydrogen powered ocean-going and short-sea shipping with enabling retrofit technologies (University of Exeter, University of Strathclyde, Logan Energy, Solis Marine Engineering Ltd, O.S. Energy (UK) Ltd, Chimera Energy Ltd).
  • For the full overall list of CMDC project bids that are in receipt of funding (not just for the South West):
  • Plymouth has received £6 million for the establishment of a National Marine Park.
  • Ocean Futures Innovation Programme. A consortium of industry, research and local government with the aim of confirming the South West’s position as a global leader at the forefront of ocean technology research and innovation. Focused around the region’s future blue economy and strengths in marine autonomy, digital innovation and the development of green maritime technologies (amongst other things). More details here:
Cornwall Marine Network:

  • 20 new public sector funded contracts have been won since the start of 2021. Staff team has grown to 56 overall in order to be able to deliver the level of new activity required.
  • Expansion includes winning additional skills contracts for delivery in the wider South West.
  • CMN awarded ‘Kick Start Gateway’ status with 111 positions approved to date.
  • Penzance Dry Dock. Future of this facility for marine has been secured following a recent sale. 5 new marine engineering apprentices have started roles – first new apprentices at PDD for 25 years.
  • CMN looking at ways in which it can proactively support the work of the Maritime Skills Commission, particularly to lead in the area of green skills, including hydrogen and offshore renewables.
  • Organisation is working towards future sustainability models and commercial product development. This will focus on training and a new recruitment service.
East Anglia – Natasha Waller (New Anglia LEP)

  • Engaging with Maritime UK careers engagement activity and looking at ways to extend this collaboration across the region going forward. Work includes linking with the Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN) which aims to increase employer engagement with schools and colleges in Norfolk and Suffolk. 

Freeport East.

  • Heavily engaged with ongoing progression of the Freeport bid for the region which has a focus on upskilling / reskilling the workforce. The project will cover Britain’s busiest container port (Felixstowe), two major ferry ports and is located close to the East Coast clean energy cluster. Estimated to create 13,500 new jobs and generate a Gross Value Added (GVA) of £5.5 billion over 10 years.

South East - Lucy Spencer-Lawrence (South East LEP)

  • Useful engagement with the Regional Cluster Development Team in August, on a joint basis with New Anglia LEP). Determined that both areas will remain supportive of the wide work of Maritime UK and specifically how this operates at a regional level. The formal establishment of a cluster organisation is not possible at this stage but the future will see engagement around specific projects and the intention is for the development team to help facilitate stakeholder engagement events from early 2021. (This offer is also extended to NALEP colleagues).
Freeports within the region:

Maritime UK Solent – Stuart Baker

  •  Maritime UK Solent was incorporated on 27th July 2021.
  • Anne-Marie Mountifield (Chief Executive of the Solent LEP and MUK Director), Graham Barnetson (CFO of Red Funnell) and Stuart Baker (Business Development Director at Solent LEP) have been confirmed as Directors of the new company, with Anne-Marie as Chair, and Stuart Baker as Managing Director.
  • The wider non-Executive Directors of Maritime UK Solent are being recruited, and the new Board is expected to convene in the autumn to develop a business plan to follow on from the Economic Recovery Plan published in May 2021 and to confirm a programme of activity for the period to March 2022.
  • A dedicated MUK Solent website due to launch shortly.
  • MUK Solent had a strong presence at London International Shipping Week including:
  • Launch of Solent Maritime Innovation Gateway which is a ground-breaking collaboration introduced by Maritime UK Solent, the Solent Maritime Enterprise Zone and Connected Places Catapult. The Gateway will coordinate the region's exceptional business ecosystem and leverage its unique elements and wealth of existing activity to ensure the Solent maximises its potential on the global stage.
  • Panel representation as part of the MUK Coastal Powerhouse Day.
  • Work has commenced on an updated economic impact assessment for the Solent maritime sector.
  • The popular MUK Solent breakfast network sessions continue to grow with over 570 attendees in 2021 to date, including 64 at the most recent session on 29 September 2021.
  • MUK Solent joined colleagues from Cowes Enterprise College and the Careers and Enterprise Company on 4th October to welcome the Department for Education Permanent Secretary, Susan Acland-Hood, to showcase how the College has integrated the maritime sector within its curriculum.