December 2021

Maritime UK Regional Council: Tuesday 14 December 2021 

Maritime UK Solent – Stuart Baker (comprehensive update as ‘host’ region for the Regional Council, December meeting)

  • Maritime UK Solent continues to strengthen following its incorporation in July 2021. MUK Solent Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Solent LEP and supported with a 3-year budget settlement totalling some £800,000.
  • Governance for MUK Solent sees the organisation made up of a board of directors drawn from across the industry and the day-to-day operations overseen by Stuart Baker as Managing Director. The emphasis from the outset is on the board being industry led.  Anne-Marie Mountifield is Chair of MUK Solent, providing a direct link to the MUK National Council as a Director.
  • MUK Solent is deliberately industry-led.
The MUK Solent Board met recently to consider business planning and identified three areas to focus activities on:

  • People (to ensure the sector has the skills and talent it needs to grow and innovate).
  • Environment (to ensure that the Solent is at the forefront of the greening of maritime and that the business environment is conducive to new investment and growth)
  • Innovation (to ensure that the Solent's maritime innovation assets and actors are better connected and enable the region to be a hotbed of maritime innovation).
  • A business plan is being formulated and will be available in early 2022.
Current activities:

  • MUK Solent is funding Connected Places Catapult to undertake work to develop the Solent Maritime Innovation Gateway.
  • Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) economic impact study. Expect an uplift from the 2019 report which identified maritime being worth £5.8 billion to the regional economy and supporting over 150,000 jobs.
  • Attendance planned at MIPIM 2022 (Cannes, France), which is the world's leading real estate event.  The focus will be on promoting the Solent Freeport opportunity, with MUK Solent selling the wider Solent maritime cluster as part of the value proposition for investors attracted to the Freeport
  • Careers mapping. Big emphasis on promoting the sector locally as offering major opportunities for high quality and skilled jobs. Course mapping activity will support this work.
  • International Tourism Summit in collaboration with the UK Chamber of Shipping in 2022.

  • Close monitoring and impact of LEP review. Expected to be a focus on sector growth, skills and business support.
Solent Freeport – major focus of activity in recent months since the March 2021 Budget announcement:

  • Regarded as the most significant policy intervention in the region in recent memory.
  • Solent Freeport Consortium Board established.
  • Initial Outline Business Case was submitted at the end of July 2021. An updated Outline Business Case was submitted on 26 November 2021. Full Business Case expected to be submitted by mid-April 2022. Freeport expected to be operational by the first half of 2022.


Mersey Maritime – Chris Shirling-Rooke & Simon Eardley

Full participation in London International Shipping Week 2021 both in London and locally, including:

  • Innovation Breakfast Seminar in partnership with Western Union Business Solutions, Maritime Digital Hub, Geollect, Bibby Marine, Peel Ports Group (15 September 2021): ‘Innovation doesn’t have to be revolutionary – how small incremental steps can make a big difference.’ More details:
  • Maritime UK Coastal Powerhouse Day and launch of the Coastal Powerhouse Manifesto (16 September 2021).
  • Visit by HRH The Princess Royal to the Maritime Knowledge Hub both at our current office in Vanguard Way, Birkenhead and the proposed site as part of the Wirral Waters regeneration scheme (17 September 2021).
  • Mersey Maritime Industry Awards (see below).
  • The Seventh Mersey Maritime Industry Awards, MMIA21, were held at Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield facilities on 17 September 2021. The event was attended by nearly 500 guests and included a pre-recorded video from HRH The Princess Royal and special guest speaker, Robert Courts MP. Other guests included Shadow Maritime Minister, Mike Kane MP and former Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP as well as leading figures from across the whole industry in the region and beyond. More information here:
  • Our regular schedule of ‘Face-2-Face’ events have continued, with the most recent one being held fully in-person. Businesses who have presented at these events have included Peel Ports Group, Southampton Cargo Handling, UniCourse and NYAS. The calendar for these events is in place for at least the first six months of 2022. For a write-up of the most recent event, visit:
  • Mersey Maritime partnered with the Scottish Maritime Cluster to deliver a special sustainability seminar at the International Maritime Hub at COP26 in Glasgow on 02 November 2021. Contributions at the event were from Bibby Marine, Maritime UK, CMAL, Getronics, the British Ports Association, Addleshaw Goddard LLP, Western Union Business Solutions and Mersey Maritime team member, Ruth Wood, with the event chaired by Chris Shirling-Rooke. A recording is available here:
  • The Mersey Maritime Policy Forum met in November for a presentation from John Egan of Progressive Energy and the HyNet project. HyNet, recently announced as being part of track one of the governments’ industrial decarbonisation scheme (meaning they will start to generate hydrogen from 2025), is a major net zero project within the north west and central to the region’s delivery of green energy. A write-up of the event is available here:
  • Mersey Maritime is part of a new ERDF programme to support innovation in the region. There are three strands to this project which is being delivered by the University of Liverpool (research projects), the Wirra Chamber of Commerce and Rainmaking Innovation. Mersey Maritime’s role will be to offer wrap-around support and deliver key events such as ‘meet the buyer’ roundtables.
  • As lead on the joint Mersey Maritime, Maritime UK and Department for Transport regional cluster development programme, the team have delivered engagement activity with a range of partners in recent months, including: the Scottish Maritime Cluster, the Mayor of Tees Valley (Ben Houchen), representatives from the Port of Tyne and Casper Shipping, all held in-person. A roundtable event with colleagues from Team Humber Marine Alliance took place in November in Hull. Follow-up engagement is underway to support new regional cluster development activity and that of existing partners which will be developed further in 2022.
Staffing and personnel update:

  • A new Senior Marketing and Digital Executive has just been appointed, Emma Wilson. Emma has previously worked for Peel Ports Group and has been recruited to enhance our external facing work.
  • Dr Matthew Fulton, University of Liverpool, will join the Mersey Maritime team as ‘Chief Innovation officer’ from January 2022 on a part-time basis, leading on supporting members with innovation related projects. He is currently Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory Director in the Department of Geography and Planning at UoL.
  • Recruitment is underway for an officer administrator as part of the government’s Kickstart Programme.

Scottish Maritime Cluster – Duncan Cunningham & Brian Fulton

  • The Scottish Maritime Cluster (SMC) has been very active since the last Regional Council Meeting especially with COP 26 being held in Glasgow.
  • At the end of September, the SMC hosted a new initiative designed to encourage engagement between members, a first ‘Brown Bag’ Lunch. A member company talks to the membership on a particular project that they are working on. On this occasion BMT discussed their decarbonisation roadmap. The meeting was well attended, and it is hoped to organise a series of similar events in the new year.
  • Discussions with the Department for International Trade with regards to opportunities for business in the maritime sector in Brazil have taken place.
  • Engagement wit Simon Eardley and Chris Shirling-Rooke took place in early October regarding regional cluster development. SE is preparing a paper on other cluster models which will go towards a broader paper on options for self-sustainability which will be shared with the SMC Board. A 3-year window to achieve this based on sliding scale funding from Transport Scotland exists. The team We have been working to make the cluster self-sustainable and funding has been secured to help us on this road.
  • The Executive Directors continue to hold regular meetings with Scottish Enterprise.
  • The first event during COP 26 was the ‘My Climate Path’ careers event in conjunction with Maritime UK. The SMC will continue to support this initiative with follow-up meetings with cluster members and Lorna Wagner will be attend the SMC AGM to discuss further. The cluster jointly hosted the ‘What does sustainability mean for my business’ breakfast seminar with Mersey Maritime on 02 November 2021.
  • The cluster also collaborated with City of Glasgow College to host the ‘Voyage to Carbon Neutral’ event during the second week of COP26.
  • A number of MSPs have combined to set up a Cross Party Working Group of MSPs at the Scottish Parliament and the SMC will be heavily involved providing them with information going forward. The CPG is still to be fully ratified but has the support of 12 cross-party MSPs.
  • The SMC continue to organise the ‘Serendipity’ events where three or four members get together for an informal chat with no fixed agenda.
  • Future events include continuing our programme around the route to net zero. An event will be hosted on small nuclear reactors which is a subject that has gained some momentum following COP26.
  • The SMC AGM will be held on 15th December. Following the success of the SMC event at LISW, a large physical presence at this meeting is hoped for.

Team Humber Marine Alliance – Andrew Oliver & Camilla Carlbom Flinn

  • Engagement around the proposed merger between Team Humber Marine Alliance and Grimsby Renewables Partnership is well advanced and more details will be available soon.
  • Regional Cluster Development engagement with the Mersey Maritime and Maritime UK team took place in November 2022 in the form of a roundtable with THMA members. Further follow-up work is intended around projects of mutual interest and support is offered by Simon Eardley and Chris Shirling-Rooke to support the ongoing cluster activity in the Humber region.
  • Opportunities for collaboration with Virginia Beach Marine (United States) are being pursued.
  • THMA colleagues continue to liaise and support the establishment of the Humber region Freeport in collaboration with ABP.
  • North Bank Green Port – recent expansion of the blade facility here to deal with new blade size requirements, including an increase in quayside loading capacity.
  • Satellite office for THMA has been established, working out of Carlbom Shipping Ltd in Immingham. Focus will be on better and more developed working relationships with local LEPs.
  • Andrew Oliver (Director, THMA) is to become Chair of Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises.

Belfast Maritime Consortium – David Tyler

  • Artemis Technologies is moving to a new facility at Belfast Harbour (manufacturing site) which will help facilitate the launch of the prototype Artemis efoiler workboat in April/May 2023.
  • Strength in Places project delivery is well advanced in co-operation with Ulster University and Queens University around composite joint design, bio fouling, and collision avoidance systems (3 year project). Three way collaboration with a range of partners focused on manufacturing is also well advanced and progressing.
  • Knowledge sharing work to up-skill the workforce is a priority – strong engagement with other sectors, e.g. aviation and aerospace.
  • Strong presence at London International Shipping Week, including the ministerial roundtable, UK Chamber of Shipping / IMO ‘Making Waves’ event and the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition projects launch. Artemis is involved in three projects, including around hydrogen and shore power development.
  • COP26. Artemis Technologies had a permanent space at the International Maritime Hub over the course of the two weeks. Took part in a webinar series with the Workboat Association and were part of the FT Operation Zero announcement. The latter relating to an aspiration to deliver (by 2025) offshore wind sector zero emissions vessels which utilise the e-foiler technology developed by Artemis. More on Operation Zero here: Artemis Technologies commits to 'Operation Zero' - Artemis Technologies
  • The Northern Ireland Green Growth Strategy was launched at the Artemis Technologies Belfast facilities. More here: Artemis Technologies hosts launch of green growth strategy - Artemis Technologies
  • Apprenticeship scheme has started with a focus around the advanced manufacturing course for maritime and skills development. More here: Apprentices visit Artemis Technologies facility in Lisburn - Artemis Technologies
  • Recent visit of Rear Admiral Rex Cox (National Shipbuilding Office).
  • Engagement around the Centre for Economic and Business Research economic impact report is well advanced in collaboration with Invest NI.
  • Plans are advanced to develop the work of the Northern Ireland cluster in 2022, with an opportunity to host the MUK Regional Council at some point in the year.

Maritime UK South West – Sheldon Ryan & Paul Wickes (Cornwall Marine Network)

  • Offshore renewable, Celtic Sea Cluster event held in September (bringing together stakeholders from the SW, Wales and Ireland).
  • Port infrastructure event held in November – focused on industry outcomes from investment opportunities in offshore wind.
  • Visit by Maritime Minister, Robert Courts MP on 01 December 2021. Focus on the SW Clean Maritime Roadmap and the Ocean Futures investment programme.
  • Innovation event in North Devon on 25 November 2021 focused on promotion of floating offshore wind opportunities. More details here:
  • Pipeline of events is in place for 2022 on similar themes and priorities. Full details available here:
  • Aquaculture network. First AGM held in August 2021. Bid being formulated for a SW based national innovation centre.
  • Clean Maritime work in 2022. Plans in place for a special event in June, to include a showcase (17th) and exhibition (17/18th).
  • National event on clean propulsion (charging systems and green propulsion opportunities).
  • Recent work of SW ports and harbours work – developing a set of commitments to incentivise the development of and investment in clean ports/harbours.
  • Outline business case for Ocean Futures has been submitted and cross departmental advisory group established.

Cornwall Marine Network

  • In the 17 years since its creation, CMN has created 4,000+ jobs. An additional significant milestone will soon be passed which shows the cumulative impact of this on the Cornish economy equates to some £0.5 billion of added value.
  • CMN team now stands at 49 staff with four more vacancies to fill. This means CMN is able to offer its biggest range of services ever and has expanded its employer based training services offer across the South West.
  • Developing a shared apprenticeship programme offer where CMN hosts the employment of the apprentices, e.g. around marine engineering.
  • CMN offering ongoing support for the work of the Maritime Skills Commission, in particular in relation to the future of green skills. A joint position paper is being formulated and is at drafting stage.
  • Access to ESF funding - £650,000 for a series of pilot projects on green skills. Working through MSC priorities, developments will have national rollout opportunities through clusters.
  • January 2022 will see a new tenant move into the CMN offices (micro offshore renewable supply chain business) – managed workspace opportunities for companies who need it.
  • Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP have shown some interest in promotion of the themes in the MUK Coastal Powerhouse Manifesto as being of particular pertinence to Cornwall.
  • Early 2022 will see work undertaken on the overall governance of Maritime UK South West to bring the organisation more strongly together around its shared and joint priority objectives of strategy and business support delivery.

South East – Simon Barnes (University of Kent)

Current projects underway in the South East:

  • Clean Ferry Programme: Port of Dover, P&O Ferries, Schneider Electric, University of Warwick joint working
  • Thames as a Hydrogen Highway: PLA, ORE, University of Strathclyde, Air Products
  • Ramsgate – Levelling-up Green Port
  • Thames Freeport
  • Arup and Thames Clipper
  • Industry Energy Transformation Fund: Port of Dover (submitted).


  • Digital Borders Workshop – September, 20 organisations present
  • Hydrogen Summit – November, 120 attended – mix of industry, academia, local/regional and national government.
Research and Innovation activity:

  • Net Zero – Kent and Medway
  • Living Labs – Thames Estuary Growth Board
  • Green Corridors – Pas Nord de Calais – event in 2022
  • Digital Borders – Connected Places Catapult
  • Coastal Health – with Essex and East Anglia – advantages of ‘blue space’.

  • Regulation – keeping up with technology advances (3x competing sets of regulation experiences
  • Energy storage and grid capacity
  • Renewable generation capacity
  • Away from port identification.

  • Thames Freeport and Freeport East – South East LEP representatives on boards that are driving the implementation of both projects.