Mersey Maritime - A driving force for the maritime industry on merseysideMersey Maritime - A driving force for the maritime industry on merseyside

By Mersey Maritime

What does retirement mean for you?

Some people want to relax and take a well-earned rest after a busy career. Others see it as an opportunity to travel, spend more time with family or set up a business.

Many people approach retirement with little or no idea how much money they will need or the best way to take an income. Tilney’s financial planners can give you the answers and show you whether you are on track – then create a plan to help you get there. Whatever you want from retirement, one thing is certain – to give you the retirement you want and deserve, you need to plan ahead. Read on to find out how Tilney can help to make your plans a reality.

Four important considerations

Proper planning is essential to achieve the retirement you want. Even so, certain things are often overlooked. There are four considerations that could affect your finances in retirement.

  1. A long retirement
    People are living longer today than ever before. According to the latest research from the Office for National Statistics, the average life expectancy is 79.2 years for men and 82.9 years for women. Of course, many people will live longer than this average as healthcare continues to improve.

This is good news, but it means that your money also needs to last longer. No one can predict how long they will live, but a sensible approach is to plan for at least 20 years of retirement.

2. Your health
It is a fact of life that as you get older your chances of becoming seriously ill increase. You may also have to pay for long-term care at some stage in your life. This can be expensive – the average cost of residential care home fees is more than £38,000 a year (according to Knight Frank, 2017 Care Home Trading Performance Review).

3. The impact of inflation
Inflation pushes up prices and reduces the real value of your savings. Rising prices can be a big problem for retirees, especially those on a fixed income. The cost of living also tends to increase more quickly for pensioners. This is because they typically spend a larger proportion of their income on items that are prone to higher inflation such as utilities, food and fuel.

4. Protecting your loved ones
You may want to protect yourself or your loved ones in the event of a serious illness or early death. It is generally better to set up protection  before you retire, as life assurance and critical illness products usually become more expensive as you get older.

How much money do you need in retirement?

This is one of the most common questions our financial planners are asked by their clients. We can show you how much money you may need for the retirement you want – and whether you’re on track to get there.

How much money will you need?

A financial planner can show you how much money you will need to make your retirement plans a reality. They will take into account your expected monthly outgoings and any larger expenses such as yearly holidays or a new car.

Are you on track?

Your financial planner will review your current savings and show you whether or not you are on track to afford the retirement you want. They will forecast your future contributions and tell you if there will be a surplus or shortfall. If there is a shortfall, they can create a plan to help you get back on track.

Explore different scenarios

Your financial planner can run through different scenarios to see how your future finances could look if you change your plans. You can see the effects of moving your retirement forward one year, increasing your annual spending or taking an extra holiday each year. You could also see how inflation or a stock market crash may affect your savings.

For more information about how Tilney can help you plan for retirement, please contact Eleanor Wotherspoon,  07773 951 691.

By Mersey Maritime

OWC2019 a ‘must attend’ event for those interested in offshore wind

An event outlining the opportunities in the growing offshore wind sector in the North Sea and beyond is being held in the spring

Offshore Wind Connections 2019 (OWC2019) is being hosted by Team Humber Marine Alliance and is now in its seventh year. It will take place on May 1 and 2 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hull.

OWC 2018 saw more than 350 delegates attend and over 40 companies exhibit, as well as guest speakers.  Following on from that success, 2019 will be better with improvements to the exhibition area with more room for exhibitors and delegates.

The two-day event starts on May 1 with “WindMeet”, a programme of 1-2-1 sessions with representatives from key offshore wind industry organisations.

The conference will be officially opened on the evening of May 1 at the networking reception with RenewableUK. The evening will give exhibitors and delegates the opportunity to network in a relaxed atmosphere.  Those who have booked to attend the conference can attend the evening reception at no extra charge.

The  main conference and exhibition on May 2 will include contributions from high-profile guest speakers. There will be opportunities to network throughout the day at breakfast, lunch or during the afternoon.

Click here for more details on the event and to book a place

By Mersey Maritime

Member of the Month: Goodwin Electronics

Goodwin Electronics hasn’t stayed in business for almost four decades without knowing how to adapt to a rapidly-changing world.

Originally based in Ellesmere Port and now working out of the Croft Business Park in Bromborough, Goodwin’s 12-strong team specialises in the design and supply of products and systems that control motion in industrial machinery.

It is a supplier of ready-made equipment but it can also design bespoke motion systems to suit the individual requirements of a customer and it works across a number of manufacturing sectors, mainly in the UK.

Circuit boards

The firm can also design and manufacture printed circuit boards for use within their motion systems and is involved in a project with one client where it has designed an automated system for loading van chassis with changeable rear sections.

This is particularly aimed at the Home Delivery market to avoid drivers queuing outside supermarkets to load up. The rear sections are dismounted and loaded while the driver is out delivering. This speeds up deliveries and reduces the number of vehicles required.

Goodwin has had a number of owners since its formation and is currently run by managing director John Owen, who took over the business in 2003. Three years ago it took on current sales director Dave Dilworth, a hugely experienced operator who has worked in the industrial systems business since 1970.

Brexit challenges

Dave explained how Goodwin was continuing to grow through innovation and being pro-active in the face of industrial change and emerging markets. In particular, it has tackled head-on the challenge thrown up by the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure from the EU.

“We took a look at what might happen post-Brexit and how we ensure continuity of supply when it comes to the products that are essential to our business,” said Dave. “We had stock that was manufactured in a number of countries but was supplied through a warehouse based in Germany and there was a concern that there could be disruption to that supply line.”

With that real risk on mind, Goodwin has now secured a deal to be a Technical Distributor Partner for Control Techniques, a company based in mid-Wales that also has a long history in the variable speed drive sector.

Both companies have substantial stock of the equipment necessary to service their client base and Control Techniques’ manufacturing centre in Newtown, mid-Wales, is expanding to ensure continuity of supply during any post-Brexit import issues.

Renewable energy

Dave adds that Goodwin Electronics is also expanding into new areas, adding: “For any business such as ours to survive and prosper we simply cannot stand still. Our System Engineering and Control Panel Design has stood us in good stead since our conception and still will do, but we need to add additional strings to our bow such as marine”

One of those areas is in the offshore renewables sector, a huge growth area in the UK, particularly in the Liverpool with region and the wider North West.

“We are partners in a five-year project with Instream Energy Systems, which is a specialist in tidal marine and inland waterway renewable energy. The project is partially funded by Innovate UK, The UK’s Innovation Agency.

“There is considerable opportunity for expansion within that sector outside of the offshore wind turbine sector. It is a very big market for Goodwin Electronics.”

By Mersey Maritime

Mark Amor is new head of commercial for Essar Oil UK

Essar Oil UK has announced the appointment of Mark Amor as head of commercial.

Mr Amor has more than 28 years’ experience working in the downstream oil industry.  He joined BP as a graduate and held various commercial leadership roles in the supply, logistics and network planning, operations, sales & marketing functions.

These included head of supply & logistics (and executive member of the Air BP global leadership team), and global sales & marketing director for commercial airlines.

Prior to joining Essar Oil UK, which owns and operates the Stanlow Refinery located on the south side of the Mersey Estuary, Mr Amor was the vice president for commercial development at World Fuel Services.

He said: “I’m delighted to be joining Essar Oil UK at this exciting time of expansion and transformation. Supplying in excess of 16% of the country’s road transport fuel, Essar continues to invest to meet the UK’s energy needs.

“I look forward to working with the team to deliver the solutions and services that our customers and partners need to sustain and grow their businesses.”

S. Thangapandian, chief executive, Essar Oil UK, added: “This is another significant appointment as we continue to strengthen the management team at Essar Oil UK. Mark brings with him huge experience in the commercial sector and an excellent reputation in the downstream oil industry.

“Essar has a clear strategic vision to further grow its UK commercial operations, which was demonstrated by our recent acquisition of BP infrastructure assets, and Mark will be a key driver in achieving this ambition.”

By Mersey Maritime

Appeal to maritime sector to support reservists and those leaving the armed forces

Pictured: Geoff Nuzum, Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association and Ruth Wood, Mersey Maritime

Members at the Mersey Maritime March Face-2-Face networking event heard a call to action for companies to support reservists in the workplace and offer employment and training opportunities to those leaving the armed forces.

The call came as it was revealed offshore wind giant, and Mersey Maritime member, Ørsted, had signed the Armed Forces Covenant and has agreed to support the employment of veterans by working alongside the Career Transition Partnership.

Bridge to business

Geoff Nuzum, regional employer engagement director of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association, addressed the breakfast event and asked those present to consider supporting the Armed Forces Covenant or Employer Recognition Scheme.

His role is to act as a bridge between businesses and defence in the North West with colleague Chris Ashworth, and it has been developed is to give businesses a voice in defence, in terms of providing additional support for reservists in the workplace and harness the skills of those looking for their next career on leaving the forces.

Geoff said the forces will support businesses that have a reservist serving by helping with the costs of having the person away, including the salary of a temp and the salary of the reservist.

He also talked about how up to 12,000 talented and disciplined individuals leave the British forces every year and that as part of resettlement, personnel are offered additional leave to work on their CV, study and take work placements.

Ørsted support

Ørsted, which operates the Burbo Bank wind farm in Liverpool Bay, will also offer flexibility in granting leave for service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment wherever possible, as well as supporting employees who choose to be members of the reserve forces.

The company already has many service veterans working on projects both offshore and onshore across the UK and the signing of the Covenant is a way to formalise the company’s pledge to ensure that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families are treated with fairness.

Managing director Matthew Wright, said: “At Ørsted, we have refined our recruitment processes to ensure that we attract and retain new talent from a wide range of sources, as well as supporting and employing people in the communities where we develop and operate our projects.

“In our experience, service veterans possess many transferable skills and qualities which have led to a successful transition to careers in the offshore wind industry. We are therefore delighted to formalise our pledge of support to those who serve or have served in the armed forces with the signing of this covenant.”

Click here to find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant

By Mersey Maritime

Birkenhead specialist SeaKing delivers upgrade of French ferries

Wirral specialist maritime contractor SeaKing Electrical has completed a series of upgrades to three DFDS ferries at Damen Dunkerque Shipyard in France.

The package of work was delivered by Birkenhead-based SeaKing to short ferries including MS Dunkerque Seaways, MS Dover Seaways and MS Delft Seaways operated by Danish shipping company DFDS, in a total of 30 days.

SeaKing managing director Dave Gillam said the project follows work delivered in autumn 2018 to the passenger and car ferries which operate in the English Channel between Dover and Dunkerque.

“Each vessel’s 10-day drydocking saw an intense period of planned upgrade work to deck 6 restaurant areas,” said Mr Gillam. “A key element included an overhaul to lighting, and the removal of electrical apparatus in order to install four new Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) so that each engine has its own dedicated UPS.

“The UPS differs from auxiliary or emergency power systems or standby generators in that they provide near instantaneous protection from input power interruptions, by supplying energy stored in batteries.

“The UPS were installed in the Transformer Room which is a challenging area to operate due to space restraints and multiple enclosed sections aft of the main engine room. The team also fitted four ABB HMI (Human Machine Interface) systems in the Motor Control Room.

“This latest upgrade for DFDS Seaways follows a four-week project delivered in autumn last year which saw a 10-man team delivering electrical upgrades to entertainment systems in 80 cabins and the fitting of VDSs (Variable Speed Drives) to car deck vent fans.”

SeaKing works in shipyards across the UK, Europe, Asia, America and Caribbean covering many segments of the marine sector. Since setting up 2001 it has developed a strong track record supporting high-profile military contracts, including work on both Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, and a series of Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels.

By Mersey Maritime

Sensor City unveils 10 winners of its £100,000 business support competition

Liverpool hi-tech innovation hub Sensor City has chosen 10 winning SMEs in its £100,000 business support competition.

The city centre facility, which specialises in research into the use of sensors and is a £15m collaboration between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, has offered each winner a six-month support programme worth up to £10,000.

The programme will include taking up hot desking and co-working space within Sensor City with access to its specialist laboratories, in addition to enrolment on the AWS Activate programme which will provide them with the technology infrastructure, technical training and business support they need to grow.

Sensor City launched the competition, supported by Amazon Web Services (AWS), at the beginning of this year and candidates took part in an application and pitch process. The winners are located across the UK, including  in Merseyside, Belfast and the West Midlands, and they are:

  • Beverston Engineering – based in Knowsley, the company manufactures components for
    industries including aerospace, oil and gas and pharmaceutical.
  • MM Sensors – a start-up firm developing a new sensor technology for measuring meteorology, tide and wave conditions to aid the design of coastal defences.
  • Wearable Link – an innovative start-up providing life-saving safety solutions for construction, healthcare and sport markets.
  • Real Space – another start-up that is developing a ‘single reality’ optical headset for the manufacturing industry by using VR software to increase the vision of the user and reduce eye strain.
  • K-Safe – this venture has founded the world’s first safety app for cyclists and motorcyclists that predicts, detects and analyses road accidents.
  • Envirowatch – based in South Shields, the business pioneers sensors that identify which sources are polluting different areas so that targeted and effective mitigation measures can be put in place.
  • Hexagon Scientific – based in Liverpool, the firm develops and manufactures a range of sensors and systems to assess contaminants in air and liquid.
  • CSols – a Runcorn-based business that develops laboratory software solutions to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
  • GeDaP –  a Wirral-based cyber security firm that provides specialist consultancy and software to protect documents and data.
  • iSensing – from Belfast, the venture creates and deploys sensor networks to capture real-time movement data of people in cities.

Dr Joanne Phoenix, interim executive director at Sensor City, said: “Our winners impressed the judging panel with their novel ideas and market scope, and we’re looking forward to working with them over the next six months to help realise their full growth potential.”

The judging panel, which was made up of experts from Sensor City, AWS, KTN, Pycom, University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, have met with the winners and will be providing ongoing guidance and links with additional support networks.

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Ferries to offer Liverpool Bay cruises this summer

Mersey Ferries is launching new Liverpool Bay cruises this spring and summer, taking passengers on a three-hour round trip that will see the famous vessels travel towards Blundellsands and Formby.

Four cruises have been confirmed with the first one setting out in May, allowing passengers to enjoy incredible scenery and learn more about the fascinating history and geography of the River Mersey and Liverpool Bay area, with expert commentary provided by a professional Blue Badge Guide.

Offering panoramic views of the river, the one-of-a-kind sightseeing cruises will sail past Royal Seaforth Docks, Fort Perch Rock at New Brighton and along the Crosby Channel towards Formby.

Whilst sailing alongside Crosby beach, passengers will be given a unique view of Anthony Gormley’s famed Another Place art installation and have the chance to appreciate the 100 cast-iron life-sized figures spread across the beach and reaching into the sea.

The new cruise will also feature live entertainment from local performers, The Shanty Kings. Passengers will be able to sing along to folk songs and to songs of the sea. A fully licensed bar will also be open throughout the cruise, offering drinks and snacks.

Confirmed dates so far are:

  • Saturday May 4: Departs from Seacombe, Wirral at 12 noon. Departs from Pier Head, Liverpool at 12:15pm
  • Saturday 4 May: Departs from Seacombe, Wirral at 4pm. Departs from Pier Head, Liverpool at 4:15pm
  • Sunday 4 August: Departs from Seacombe, Wirral at 12 noon. Departs from Pier Head, Liverpool at 12:15pm
  • Sunday 4 August: Departs from Seacombe, Wirral at 4pm. Departs from Pier Head, Liverpool at 4:15pm

Tickets are priced at £16 for an adult and £8 for a child. A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children is also available for £43.

For more information or to book tickets, call the Mersey Ferries ticket office on 0151 330 1003, visit any of Mersey Ferries terminals or click here.

By Mersey Maritime

Bathgate Business Finance appoints new business development manager

West-Kirby based finance specialist, Bathgate Business Finance, has continued its expansion plans with the appointment of asset finance specialist Tracey Hamilton as its new business development manager.

Tracey, who has more than 20 years’ experience within the business banking and asset finance industry, joins Bathgate from Close Brothers Asset Finance. In her new role she will be responsible for growing the company’s existing client base.

She brings to the team experience from working for some of the UK’s largest banks and funders, as well as her knowledge of asset finance within the manufacturing sector.

“I am looking forward to using my knowledge and experience to build strong relationships with new and existing clients, as well as working closely with Bathgate’s exceptional team to forge the company’s position as the North West’s go-to funder,” said Tracey.

“Bathgate Business Finance is passionately committed to supporting businesses to find the right kind of financing and its network of funders and own book positions it perfectly to provide this support.”

Bathgate managing director, Gordon Andrews, added: “Tracey’s understanding and knowledge of the manufacturing sector and the challenges that businesses in industry face will be invaluable, not just to our existing customers but also in facilitating the growth of our own business in that sector.”

By Mersey Maritime

2019 cruise season to boost Liverpool economy by £12m

Pictured: The Queen Victoria on the Mersey

Liverpool’s city centre economy will benefit to the tune of an estimated £12m thanks to the 2019 cruise which begins in a few weeks when the Costa Mediterranea arrives in the Mersey.

This is £5m more than in 2018 when 57 vessels, 24 turnaround calls and 33 transit calls, berthed at Liverpool Cruise Terminal carrying more than 100,000 passengers and crew. This year staff at the terminal will welcome 165,000 passengers on 86 vessels.

One of the highlights of the season, which begins in April, will be the returns of Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 which will be calling to pick up passengers in July for a crossing that will take them to New York.

The terminal, which also caters for naval and offshore wind farm support vessels, will welcome 11 newcomers making their maiden voyage along the Mersey this year including Celebrity ReflectionCosta Mediterranea and the Viking Jupiter.

Joining the Liverpool debutants will be the innovator in cruising, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), voted ‘Europe’s Leading Cruise Line’ 11 years in a row. Its 268-meter vessel, Norwegian Spirit, will be visiting three times throughout the year.

Other highlights will include the arrival of two Cunard ships throughout the season – Queen Victoria on June 12 and August 19 and Queen Mary 2 on 16 July.

Whilst on September 13 it will be time to wish upon a star as the ever-popular Disney Magic cruise ship makes its fifth return journey to the city.

Liverpool head of cruise and marine operations Peter Murney said: “Last year was an amazing one for us where we really secured Liverpool’s place as a major player and one of the best cruise ship destinations in Europe.

“It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team that even more fantastic vessels will be heading our way in 2019 and we’re looking forward to giving them all a great Liverpool welcome.”

By Mersey Maritime

Cunard reveals Queen Mary 2 will sail from Liverpool to New York in 2019

Shipping line Cunard has announced its Queen Mary 2 vessel will sail to New York to Liverpool later this summer.

The vessel will depart the Mersey on a 14-night Northern Atlantic Westbound Crossing, which includes Iceland, Canada and New York. The company says it has introduced the Liverpool stop due to strong demand.

New for 2019 the voyage will combine a classic Transatlantic crossing with discovery days in maiden port Reykjavik, Iceland, and will depart Southampton on July 14, arriving into Liverpool on July 16.

Queen Mary 2 came to Liverpool in 2015 along with sister liners, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, to take part in the Three Queens spectacular celebrating Cunard’s 175th anniversary and its longstanding links with Liverpool.

The company had its headquarters in the city’s waterfront Cunard Building, one of the world famous Three Graces, from 1839 until 1967. More than one million people lined the banks of the Mersey to welcome the vessels in 2015.

In 2016, Cunard laid on a special Transatlantic crossing from Liverpool to Halifax Nova Scotia, Boston and New York in a voyage that sparked huge demand with with berths selling for us much as £15,500. Many people were left disappointed after places sold out within an hour of going on sale.

Cunard sales director, Gary Anslow, said: “We are delighted to have added a Liverpool departure in response to trade demand. Quite a few partners in the region asked if we would create a Liverpool departure, given our historic ties with the city and the demand they have for local departures.

“We are now looking forward to working with the trade on selling this fantastic itinerary to their clients.”

By Mersey Maritime

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram unveils £10m zero carbon fund

Renewable energy projects in the Liverpool city region will soon have access to a new £10m fund.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram unveiled the fund on Wednesday as part os his drive to create a zero-carbon city region by 2040. His Green Investment Fund is part of a larger £25m Urban Development Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

The Low Carbon sector already contributes more than £2bn to the Liverpool city region’s economy, employing more than 22,000 people in 1,400 companies. It is also well set to become the UK’s renewable energy coast, with one of the largest concentrations of off-shore wind turbines in the world, in Liverpool Bay.

Speaking at the New Statesman Northern Powerhouse Conference in Leeds, Mr Rotheram said: “We are rightly planning for the long term and a zero carbon future, but we have to take urgent action now. Climate change is real, as are the health risks of poor air quality, particularly for the most vulnerable members of society.

“Across the world, innovative policies like a ‘Green New Deal’ are being discussed because progressives recognise the urgent need to act. In my manifesto I pledged to create a Green Investment Fund to help the City Region meet my ambition of becoming zero carbon by 2040.

“I can confirm today that proposals will go before the Combined Authority on March 8 to create a £10m fund to invest in renewable energy projects and support our shift towards a low carbon economy. This extra investment will help us capitalise on existing position as a leader in renewable energy and support more high skilled green jobs in our region.”

The Combined Authority has also established the Mersey Tidal Commission to look into ways of harnessing the power of the River Mersey as a source of clean, renewable, predictable energy for generations to come.

What does retirement mean for you?
OWC2019 a ‘must attend’ event for those interested in offshore wind
Member of the Month: Goodwin Electronics
Mark Amor is new head of commercial for Essar Oil UK
Appeal to maritime sector to support reservists and those leaving the armed forces
Birkenhead specialist SeaKing delivers upgrade of French ferries
Sensor City unveils 10 winners of its £100,000 business support competition
Mersey Ferries to offer Liverpool Bay cruises this summer
Bathgate Business Finance appoints new business development manager
2019 cruise season to boost Liverpool economy by £12m
Cunard reveals Queen Mary 2 will sail from Liverpool to New York in 2019
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram unveils £10m zero carbon fund