The Solent has been chosen to host a brand-new national awards ceremony recognising the best of the UK’s maritime sector.
In a major coup for the region the first ever Maritime UK Awards will take place in Southampton on 19 September, as thousands of people descend on the city for the Southampton Boat Show.
The Maritime UK Awards will be the first truly national maritime awards in the UK, organised by industry, for the benefit of industry. They will be judged by a panel of internationally recognised maritime leaders and celebrate businesses making waves within a sector that’s worth £37.4bn to the UK economy.
The awards will be held in a different part of the country every year but the Solent will get the first chance to shine as host.
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was the driving force behind bringing the awards to the region and our Chief Executive and Board Director Anne-Marie Mountifield says it’s a major success. “The Solent has long had a reputation as a leading force in the UK’s marine and maritime industries and we’re thrilled that that’s been recognised with the decision to hold the inaugural Maritime UK Awards here,” she said. “It’ll be a superb opportunity for us to showcase the strength and innovation we have in this coastal powerhouse.”
The Maritime UK Awards launch today (26 April) and will be open to companies from across the breadth of the maritime sector and its shipping, ports, services, engineering, and leisure marine industries. The categories mirror themes in the Government’s recently published strategy for the sector, Maritime 2050, with awards for hot topics such as innovation, sustainability and international trade up for grabs.
Any profit generated from the awards will be ploughed back into Maritime UK’s cross-sector initiatives like careers and trade promotion and Women in Maritime.
Ben Murray, Director at Maritime UK, said: “We’re very excited to launch these brand-new awards and celebrate all that’s great about the sector. Rotating these national maritime awards in different parts of the UK will allow us to showcase each region with their unique strengths and crucially bring together all parts of our sector.
“The Solent, with its thriving maritime sector, is the perfect place for us to hold the inaugural event and the fact that it’ll take place alongside the Southampton Boat Show will give it an added buzz.”
In the Solent region the maritime industry represents 20 per cent of the economy, supports 120,000 jobs and facilities trade worth a huge £77.5bn. The Solent LEP, which is organising the Maritime UK Awards 2019, is the key partnership body behind developing a Solent Maritime cluster with Maritime UK.
It’s hoped that a wealth of local businesses from Southampton, Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, The New Forest, and the surrounding areas will take the opportunity to enter and showcase the region’s strength when it comes to marine and maritime.
Anne-Marie Mountifield, who is also a member of the national Maritime UK Council and a ‘Women in Maritime’ ambassador, added: “We’re immensely proud that the Solent has a reputation as a ‘coastal powerhouse’. We’re strongly encouraging local businesses to get their entries in and prove it.”
Click here to take part in the awards, which take place on 19 Septmeber at the Leonardo Royal Hotel Southampton Grand Harbour.