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

By Mersey Maritime

TV documentary makers call on Firetrace to protect their WWI tank

Fire safety specialist Firetrace works with a diverse range of clients – but it is not often asked to work on a World War I tank.

The Mersey Maritime member, which has a base in Bootle, was contacted by the producers of ‘Guy Martins WW1 Tank’ a one-off TV documentary which was using a newly-built replica of a Mark 4 Female World War Tank for a Remembrance Sunday show.

It was decided to build the replica vehicle as it was the first successful tank to survive the battle of Combrai in France 100 years ago.

Assembled in Norfolk and filmed at various locations, the documentary has also had support from JCB who made various components for the replica, Chastead World Class who made the track plates and Norfolk Tank Museum who supplied the drive train and engine.

Firetrace was approached by the Norfolk Tank Museum because of its experience in designing and installing fire suppression systems for many types of vehicles and applications.

“We wanted to provide the eight people inside the tank with minimum ingress and enough time for get out of the tank safely,” said Steve Machaye from the museum.

Dave Melton, founder of Firetrace, added: “We were honoured to be asked to be part of this special event.”

Firetrace has also been awarded accreditation from Alcumus SafeContractor for achieving excellence in health and safety in the workplace.

Alcumus SafeContractor is a leading third party accreditation scheme which recognises extremely rigorous standards in health and safety management amongst contractors.

It is used by thousands of organisations in the UK including SMEs and FTSE 100 companies.

Tony McDonough

Consultant at YBNews

Mobile: 07931 964948

Twitter: tonymc39

By Mersey Maritime

Double honour for Merseyside Master Mariner

A Master Mariner from one of Liverpool’s longest established maritime businesses has been bestowed with a prestigious double honour in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the marine industry.

Captain Adrian Scales, of marine consultancy Brookes Bell Group, was formally admitted as a Liveryman into the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, a City of London Livery Company and professional body for Sea Captains.

The title is reserved for Master Mariners of the very highest professional standing and repute and Capt Scales is currently one of only 190 Master Mariners worldwide to be granted the honour.

The induction of Capt Scales as a Liveryman took place in Liverpool as part of the company’s annual ‘Outport’ regional lunch at the city’s Liner Hotel.

The ceremony was especially significant in that it marked the first time in more than 90 years since the Honourable Company of Master Mariners was first established, that a new Liveryman has been admitted in a ceremony held outside London.

It was attended by dignitaries and VIPs including HM Lord Lieutenant Mark Blundell, Liverpool’s High Sheriff Stephen Burrows, Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Malcolm Kennedy and Lady Mayoress Lilliana Kennedy.

Capt Scales is only the eighteenth Master Mariner worldwide to have been awarded Chartered status, a hallmark of excellence that aims to have a positive impact across the UK industry and, eventually, across the global maritime domain as the scheme develops.

He said: “I am incredibly proud and humbled to receive these two prestigious awards in my home city of Liverpool. I have worked incredibly hard to attain entry at this relatively early stage of my career in order that I can continue to provide mentorship to the younger generation of officers and future Master Mariners.”

Tony McDonough

Consultant at YBNews

Mobile: 07931 964948

Twitter: tonymc39v

By Mersey Maritime

Shipping industry holds key to solving UK logistics crisis, writes Gary Hodgson, Peel Ports

The logistics business is under pressure like never before. Despite Government backing for an export-led economy there remain significant concerns, not least over Brexit, customer price pressures, and driver shortages.

For our part, we have made several big announcements this year that will see our business take another step forward in 2018. In the summer, we pressed the button on the phase 2 expansion of Liverpool2, which will see the container terminal provide even more capacity for cargo owners who see the benefits of shipping their goods closer to and from their key locations.

We also revealed in the autumn that we were to offer a rail freight service next year. It’s the first time we have offered an integrated package, giving shippers a seamless route to market, from quayside to any UK destination served by major rail lines, or vice versa.

We’ve long prided ourselves on being more than just a network of ports and this development is the next step in our journey to provide shippers with a better end-to-end answer for their cargo needs.

It’s also an important milestone in our evolution as a company and underlines how serious we are about being a genuine partner in the supply chain community.

Our approach has been endorsed by industry peers and politicians at recent events we’ve hosted in Liverpool and London, and our Cargo200 initiative continues to receive support.

So there’s no doubt we’re on the right track for ourselves, our customers and the Mersey region.

Gary Hodgson

Strategic Ports Director, Peel Ports

Tony McDonough

Consultant at YBNews

Mobile: 07931 964948

Twitter: tonymc39


By Mersey Maritime

Tech giant Siemens praises Liverpool students for work on research project

Technology giant Siemens, has handed out awards to City of Liverpool College students after they took part in an advanced manufacturing research project.

The youngsters participated in the six-month project called ‘The Industry 4.0 Digital Twin’ from January until the summer.

Skills gap

It was launched Siemens’ central technology officer Alan Norbury who tasked the students with asking how Britain can bridge the skills gap needed for ‘Industry 4.0’, where multidisciplinary hybrid skills will be required to engineer cyber physical systems capable of acting intelligently.

At a special event for the students taking part in the ground-breaking research at the Roscoe Street Learning Exchange, Siemens presented them with awards for their research. The students split into teams for the project:

  • A student manufacturing team created a 3D model using Siemens NX CAD software which was used by Game Design technology team to build a virtual reality model to replicate some practical scenarios that could occur in reality.
  • Electronic students in charge of implementing various sensors within the manufacturing process prototype collected the necessary manufacturing data, which populated a dedicated cloud system.
  • The IT team then developed a platform to allow users to extract the data from the cloud (in real-time) and present it to the engineering data analyst for decision making.

Robot arm

The project has evolved in to a ‘Digital Twin’ – where a physical simple robot arm and conveyor belt controlled using Siemens S7-1200 Programmable Logic Controller has been digitalised via CAD software from a gaming environment – and the students have successfully enabled communication between the two.

Alan explained “This a first for Siemens in the UK, if not globally, Siemens have 15 manufacturing sites in the UK all continuously driving up productivity and accelerating innovation cycles , the vision of mass customisation will add value to our products and as a consequence increase productivity.”

Raise awareness

Justin Smith, assistant principal for tech and enterprise at The City of Liverpool College, added: “The purpose of the project is to both raise awareness of and develop the skills necessary for Industry 4.0.

“The project undertaken by the students in partnership with Siemens and the Liverpool Enterprise Partnership is unique in that it exemplifies the need of a cross disciplinary and cross college approach to address the skills required to ensure the growth of the sector.”

Tony McDonough

Consultant at YBNews

Mobile: 07931 964948

Twitter: tonymc39

By Mersey Maritime

Liverpool Bay wind farm operator says plummeting cost of renewable energy is a ‘breakthrough moment’

Britain’s offshore wind sector is defying its critics as the latest figures show the cost of renewable energy is plummeting – and Merseyside is in pole position to reap the benefits.

In the last few weeks it has been revealed that the cost of renewable energy had fallen to £57.50 per megawatt-hour, far exceeding Government expectations and well below the price of £92.50 awarded in 2016 to the Hinkley nuclear power station.

This has been hailed as a “breakthrough moment for offshore wind” by Matthew Wright, managing director of Mersey Maritime member Ørsted in the UK (formerly known as DONG Energy) which operates a huge wind farm in Liverpool Bay.

Burbo Bank

Its recently completed Burbo Bank extension, 7km off the coast, can generate enough electricity to power 230,000 homes utilising the most powerful commercial turbines in the world. This rises to 310,000 homes when the output of the original Burbo Bank wind farm is added.

At 195m high, each turbine is taller than London’s Gherkin skyscraper and the 80m blades each weigh 35 tonnes. Just one turbine can generate more power than the world’s first commercial wind farm, Vindeby, which opened more than two decades ago.

Mr Wright added: “Successive governments deserve great credit for providing the certainty for continued investment in offshore wind, enabling it to become the thriving renewable industry it is today.

“Costs are falling rapidly, long-term and highly-skilled jobs are being created across the North of England and the UK supply chain is going from strength to strength.

“We’re now really seeing the benefits of this commitment to offshore wind and there is still so much more to come. Indeed, it has the potential to play a key part in the realisation of the UK’s industrial strategy.”

Operations centre

To support its Liverpool Bay wind farms, Ørsted has this year opened an operations centre right on the Mersey at Kings Wharf in Wirral.

In the last few weeks Mr Wright has welcomed a delegation of politicians from across the Liverpool city region to tour the centre. They included Wirral Council leader Phil Davies,  Cllr Anne McLachlan, Mayor of Wirral and Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson.

They learned how Osted’s investment in the North West totals £5.4bn since 2005 with around 45 people employed at the Kings Wharf facility.

The company has committed to a Burbo Bank Extension Community Fund worth approximately £225,000 each year for the lifetime of the project. The fund benefits local community groups and organisations in the North West, for example the New Brighton Mermaid Trail.

And it has also partnered with the education charity Teach First to address educational inequalities in the North, supporting Teach First on improving teacher attraction and retention, and pupil progression in Merseyside.

Billions of pounds

“We’ve been operating out of the North West for over 10 years now and have invested billions of pounds in the area,” Mr Wright said. “However, our presence in the community extends much wider than operating our business from here.

“It was great to meet the people in the Liverpool area working to make things happen, and have the opportunity to tell them about our activities here and discuss ways to work together. We’re proud to be part of this great region’s community and economy.”

The building at Kings Wharf is used for the storage of materials and equipment required for the ongoing maintenance of the wind farms, as well as office facilities for staff. A new ladder on the quay wall also enables boats to “push on” directly, allowing easy access for technicians to board.

Cllr Davies added: “Wirral has a hard-fought and deserved reputation as a centre of excellence for clean energy manufacturing and innovation. This latest developments show the growing confidence global businesses have in our borough’s ability to deliver.

“Wirral, as part of the city region, has gained the Centre for Offshore Renewable Engineering designation, the only such designation on the west coast of England, yet further proof of our position at the centre of this growing industry.”

Tony McDonough

Consultant at YBNews

Mobile: 07931 964948

Twitter: tonymc39

By Mersey Maritime

Liverpool2 could spearhead a new era of economic growth & productivity

Ports across the UK, including the Port of Liverpool hold the key to boosting productivity and growing the economy post-Brexit.

That was consensus among senior politicians at an event hosted in London by Port of Liverpool operator Peel Ports at Westminster.

In his Autumn Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond painted a gloomy outlook for the British economy over the next few years with weak productivity and growth. He also set aside an extra £3bn to cope with any Brexit shocks.

Upbeat mood

But the mood among the 100-strong audience drawn from the political, shipping and business communities at the Peel reception was more upbeat about the UK’s prospects.

The event focused on the transatlantic opportunities and the importance of strengthening trade links between the UK and the Americas.

Peel has just invested £400m in Liverpool2, a deep water terminal on the River Mersey equipped to handle 95% of the world’s biggest container ships. And a renewed focus on transatlantic trade means Liverpool is facing in the right direction for the first time in decades.

‘Catalyst for change’

Peel Ports, which also owns and operates a number of ports around the UK and Ireland, has invested heavily in its infrastructure in recent years. Its strategic projects director, Gary Hodgson, explained the decision to develop Liverpool2

He told those assembled, who included Transport Minister John Hayes, Lord Prescott and Jake Berry, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, the project was acting as a “catalyst for change” for UK’s import and export potential.

He explained: “We took the bold move to invest heavily at Liverpool, knowing that if we built the ambitious infrastructure this would support higher productivity for the UK market, and in turn create an injection into the local economy, Liverpool and the Northern Powerhouse.

“We are investing for the future right across the UK, inland and portside, and realise the positive impact a well performing multimodal logistics sector can have on the UK economy’s balance sheet.”

Creating jobs

The event was sponsored by Bill Esterson, Labour MP for Sefton and Shadow Minister for Business and International Trade. Liverpool2 is within his constituency.

He told the audience: “Peel Ports’ significant investment of £750m into the Port of Liverpool and inland logistics has helped to create jobs, skills and opportunities for young people not only in and around the Sefton area of Liverpool, but beyond.

“This is good news for my Sefton Central constituents and for thousands more besides across the city region.

“UK Ports are incredibly important to our economy and I fully welcome and support Peel Ports’ fresh and dynamic approach to ensuring we adapt and act as leaders ready to develop worldwide trade opportunities.

“Peel is playing its part in generating the infrastructure for businesses in our region but can’t do it alone.

“The Government is committed to HS2 from south to north, but needs to build new west to east railway lines, especially to increase the amount of freight carried by rail.

“It is absurd that it takes nine hours to move biomass fuel from the Port of Liverpool to Selby, just 90 miles away and Government must play its part for the port to fulfil its full potential role in boosting the prosperity of the Liverpool city region and the North West of England.”


Tony McDonough

Consultant at YBNews

Twitter: tonymc39

By Mersey Maritime

Wirral Met feeding the skills pipeline for Liverpool city region’s maritime sector

Wirral Met College is a key contributor to the Maritime SuperSkills project which is providing a pipeline of people with right skills required by employers in the maritime, logistics and advanced manufacturing sectors.
The project will enable employers to map and develop a complete skills progression from levels three / advanced and level four / higher apprenticeships through to level seven degree apprenticeships.
Working in partnership with the Maritime SuperSkills project, Wirral Met will be contributing to a sustainable future for the Liverpool city region, young people and the current workforce.

Wider choice
The project will bring like-minded businesses together to help offer a wider choice to some of the most deprived areas in the UK and continue to build on the positive impact Wirral Met already has in its community and further afield.
The college is well-placed to respond to the skill gaps and growth opportunities within the maritime sector. Its team of dedicated and experienced teaching staff has substantial commercial experience and strong links with employers across advanced manufacturing, welding and engineering maintenance sectors.
This enables them to develop talented people to gain the practical experience and sector-specific skills to support these key occupations.

Major investment
Wirral Met has recently invested more than £12m in up-to-date facilities and its new Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Centre provides an innovative and skills-rich environment which includes specialist equipment that would usually only be seen in the workplace or a university.
Working with employers, Wirral Met has developed the STEM Centre and curriculum strategy to meet the needs of the engineering and maritime sectors.
Students and apprentices can progress from lower level qualifications to Higher National Certificate and Diploma programmes which support progression into jobs at technical, first line and middle management level and/or engineering degrees.
In addition, project-based learning develops their wider employability attributes key to successful and sustainable business; problem-solving skills, effective communication and customer service skills, research and development and management techniques.

High quality
Lee Hardman, director of United Air Power, who completed his level three qualification and Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Operations Engineering at Wirral Met College, is now working in partnership with the College to deliver apprenticeship programmes in his organisation.
He said, “It is fantastic to see that you have invested in Festo and Siemens equipment; in my opinion they are very high quality. It was also nice to see the robotics and 3D printing equipment.

“It demonstrates how the college is being innovative and has considered Industry 4.0 at the forefront of its operations. I can see that your focus on the success of your students is very important to you, not just through your efforts to provide cutting edge facilities but through your passion to succeed.”

Tony McDonough

Consultant at YBNews

Twitter: tonymc39

By Mersey Maritime

Join new members’ lottery and raise cash for Feeding Britain

Chris Wainwright of Mersey Maritime member Beech Group is to launch a private lottery for fellow members in January that aims to raise more than £24,000 for the charity, Feeding Britain.

It was established in 2015 to combat the growing issue of people in deprived communities not having enough to eat and having to rely on food banks and one of its trustees is Birkenhead MP Frank Field.

Chris outlined his plans at the last Face-2-Face Mersey Maritime networking event. The lottery will cost £190 a year to join which will give you the chance of winning one of three prizes every month.
The first drawn out will win £500, the second £300 and the third £200 and the winners will be mentioned in the monthly e-zine.

The target number of members is 190 to raise £36,100 which, after deducting the prize money, will leave Feeding Britain with £24,100 per year.

Chris is asking people to contact him as soon as possible. He can be reached via email at



By Mersey Maritime

Young trainees honoured at Birkenhead’s Engineering College awards

Young engineering trainees in Merseyside have been recognised for their outstanding efforts at an awards ceremony.

Birkenhead’s Engineering College celebrated the region’s young talent in the 2017 Apprentice Awards in Monk’s Ferry.

Located next door to the famous Cammell Laird shipyard, the college was formerly known as the Maritime & Engineering College and has 330 apprentices on its books from around 70 firms.

A big winner on the night was Jennifer Corkill, from Stadler, who secured two awards – The Engineering College Development Stage Apprentice and The ‘Ian Yates’ contribution to Engineering Award for her outstanding progression. Michael Dodd, of Teledyne CML, received The Jim Teasdale Apprentice of the Year award. It came just weeks after being named as a ‘runner up’ in the national Composites UK 2017 Industry Awards. The TWI Welder of the Year award was handed to Thomas Jones, from Cammell Laird, with the ECITB Apprentice of the Year award presented to Kurtis Kearns, of Studley Engineering.

A total of 11 awards were handed out on the night with headline sponsors including Cammell Laird, ECITB (Engineering Construction Industry Training Board) and The Welding Institute (TWI) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Engineering College chief executive Terry Weston said: “The college has seen an exceptional intake of young engineers and strong progression with existing students this year.

“This awards evening provides an opportunity to recognise the commitment and dedication shown by a range of students. The 2017 format included 11 awards in a bid to recognise each stage of an apprenticeship, as many of our student are with us for a number of years.’

Below is the full list of winners:

Pre- Apprenticeship Student of the Year – Andrew Casey, Brimark Signs
The Engineering College Foundation Stage Award – Jack Bendrey, National Marine
The Engineering College Development Stage Apprentice – Jennifer Corkill, Stadler
The Engineering College Further Development Stage Apprentice – Steven Butler, Balfour Beatty
Cammell Laird Development Stage Apprentice – Dean Scaife
Cammell Laird Apprentice of the Year – James Bowler
ECITB Apprentice of the Year – Kurtis Kearns, Studley Engineering
The Welding Institute Welder of the Year – Thomas Jones, Cammell Laird
IMECHE ‘Most Improved’ Apprentice – Zack Kirkman, AMF Engineering
The ‘Ian Yates’ contribution to Engineering Award – Jennifer Corkill
The ‘Jim Teasdale’ Apprentice of the Year – Michael Dodd, Teledyne CML



By Mersey Maritime

Heightsafe wins three-year contract with Premier Inn and Costa owner Whitbread

Wirral based safety specialist, Heightsafe has secured a three-year national contract with the UKs largest hotel and restaurant chain, Whitbread.

The hospitality giant operates some of best known names on the high street including Premier Inn, Brewers Fayre, Table Table, Beefeater and Costa Coffee.

Whitbread has appointed Mersey Maritime member Heightsafe to undertake statutory inspection and testing compliance for work at height and lightning protection assets, focusing on the cyclical certification of equipment and, general work at height compliance.

By utilising Heightsafe’s client portal, Whitbread will have instant access to all critical health and safety documents along with critical data relating to the location of assets on site, certificates and renewal test dates.

Marion Diable, commercial director of Heightsafe, said: “The award of this contract follows a very competitive tender process.

“From discussions held with the Whitbread procurement team, it is clear that our businesses are aligned by work ethic, and our mutual goals of providing clarity and true visibility of these important safety assets.”

Heightsafe, which employs 50 people, will also be taking on the testing of all personal protective equipment at Whitbread’s chains, making recommendations of any installation requirements for furthering their health & safety standards.

To find out more about Heightsafe Systems Ltd please visit  or call them on 020 3819 7199.

By Mersey Maritime

Global shipping group BSM meets with Mersey Maritime members with view to possible investments

Top executives from global maritime giant Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) came to Birkenhead to meet members of Mersey Maritime.

BSM offers comprehensive ship management and maritime services across the world, managing a fleet of 600 vessels and employing 20,000 people.

It also operates a network of a network of 10 ship management, 26 crew service and five wholly-owned maritime training centres  all over the globe.

Renewed confidence

The Mersey has also been a key location on the global maritime map and the local maritime sector is now experiencing renewed growth and confidence.

Giles A Heimann, corporate director, fleet personnel, at BSM came to Birkenhead with his colleagues Mauritz Brons and Niklas Koerner as they were keen to meet with members of Mersey Maritime to find out more.

After addressing members at Mersey Maritime’s monthly Face-2-Face breakfast networking event, Mr Heimann then conducted a number of one-to-one meetings with Mersey businesses to find out more about what they could offer.

Technology challenges

BSM is very focused on technological change, acknowledging the history and heritage of the maritime sector but also saying clearly that maritime firms needed to ready for the future.

One of the themes of the session in Birkenhead was “Where are we heading and what will the future of the industry be?”.

‘Major coup’

Speaking after the session, Mersey Maritime chief executive Chris Shirling Rooke, said: “This visit was major coup for our members. BSM is one of the biggest maritime companies in the world and these guys flew in from Germany and Cyprus to take part in this session.

“They have a large pot of money and they are prepared to invest in the right businesses. It shows the impact Mersey Maritime is now having on the global stage.

“This was a fantastic opportunity for our members to get the chance to meet BSM and it was also a great opportunity for BSM to see how they can access the skills and know-how of the world class maritime sector we have here in Merseyside.”

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Maritime Industry Awards 2018 (MMIA18) Applications Live!

Applications & Ticket Sales for the prestigious Mersey Maritime Industry Awards 2018 are now live!  

As we enter our fourth year, we are delighted to welcome back our four Diamond Sponsors, Beech Group, Liverpool John Moores University, Peel Ports Group & Stream Marine Training (SMT). In addition to this we are also extremely proud to have all of our award categories fully sponsored and very grateful to our many reinstated sponsors for their continued support.

The Mersey Maritime Industry Awards 2018 will be held at the world famous Anfield Stadium on 8th March 2018, and will be our biggest and best yet. ‘Making Waves Globally’ has been chosen as the underlying theme because Liverpool is trading on a global scale and leading the way in terms of infrastructure investment, innovation, and connectivity both nationally and with the rest of the world. The level of interest in the awards has already been outstanding, and we are expecting the number of nominations to be larger than ever.

There are now 12 Awards you may wish to apply for, with the exciting addition of the National Impact Award for 2018! As always, the Judges will be considering who could be the potential candidate for this year’s Maritime Ambassador, taking our award total up to 13.

To book your tickets please click here and return the attached form to

To download an application pack please click here
The closing date for applications will be Friday 5th January 2018.

Award Categories:
Business of the Year– Sponsored by Stream Marine Training
SME of the Year – Sponsored be Royal HaskoningDHV
Micro Business of the Year – Sponsored by MTC
National Impact Award – Sponsored by Maritime UK
Rising Star Award – Sponsored by Liverpool John Moores University
Engineering Company of the Year – Sponsored by RSM
Best Newcomer – Sponsored by Stellamar
Innovation Award – Sponsored by Peel Ports Group
Freight & Logistics Award – Sponsored by Seatruck
Global Reach Award – Sponsored by NatWest
Maritime Professional Services Award – Sponsored by Tilney
Positive Impact Award – Sponsored by Associated British Ports (ABP)
Maritime Ambassador of the Year** – Sponsored by Beech Group

We wish you the best of luck with your applications!


TV documentary makers call on Firetrace to protect their WWI tank
Double honour for Merseyside Master Mariner
Shipping industry holds key to solving UK logistics crisis, writes Gary Hodgson, Peel Ports
Tech giant Siemens praises Liverpool students for work on research project
Liverpool Bay wind farm operator says plummeting cost of renewable energy is a ‘breakthrough moment’
Liverpool2 could spearhead a new era of economic growth & productivity
Wirral Met feeding the skills pipeline for Liverpool city region’s maritime sector
Join new members’ lottery and raise cash for Feeding Britain
Young trainees honoured at Birkenhead’s Engineering College awards
Heightsafe wins three-year contract with Premier Inn and Costa owner Whitbread
Global shipping group BSM meets with Mersey Maritime members with view to possible investments
Mersey Maritime Industry Awards 2018 (MMIA18) Applications Live!