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

Category : Mersey Maritime News

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Maritime will once again put the Liverpool City Region in the spotlight

Mersey Maritime will once again put the Liverpool City Region in the spotlight at London International Shipping Week 2019 (LISW)

Taking place between Monday 9th and Friday 13th September, London International Shipping Week will see the leaders from every sector of the global maritime industry gather to take part in more than 200 meetings, seminars and functions. Over 150 global maritime organisations and 65 commercial partners have pledged their support for LISW19 by hosting events during the week.

Leading regional maritime cluster organisation, Mersey Maritime, will play a key role at a number of events across the course of the week, including:

  • The Maritime UK Regional Spotlight Conference
  • Their own ‘Mersey on the Thames’ Reception
  • A Parliamentary Reception at the House of Commons to launch the ‘State of the Maritime Nation’ report

Commenting, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, Chris Shirling-Rooke said:

“London International Shipping Week is always a huge event in the international maritime calendar and 2019 is no exception. This year will be our biggest yet and we intend to maximise the opportunity to raise the profile of the Liverpool City Region and the greater North West.

“Recently the Prime Minister committed to serious investment in our regional transport infrastructure and the wider vision of a Northern Powerhouse. Our involvement in LISW gives us the perfect opportunity to showcase and celebrate the strength of our North West coastal powerhouse to a national and international audience, as well as lobbying for further investment in our industry and the region as a whole.”

Key events with Mersey Maritime involvement over the course of the week:

Regional Spotlight Showcase Conference – Monday 09 September

Recognised as the country’s leading maritime cluster, Mersey Maritime Chief Executive, Chris Shirling-Rooke, will chair an afternoon conference to highlight the dynamism of the UK’s maritime cluster offer with presentations from the South West, Solent and Scotland within the Department for International Trade and Maritime UK’s ‘Global Trade Hub’ based in the iconic Leadenhall Building.

As part of the session, Mersey Maritime will join with Team Humber Marine Alliance to host a debate on the importance of ‘east/west connectivity’ across the north of England with a panel of expert speakers from the Institute of Export, P&O Ferries, Associated British Ports and Peel Ports Group. Read more here

Mersey on the Thames Reception – Monday 09 September

Mersey Maritime will take the opportunity to celebrate and showcase the Liverpool City Region and its vibrant maritime sector at its infamous LISW reception, Mersey on the Thames, with a guest list ranging from its own members to government ministers, leading national and international maritime figures. Read more here.

Parliamentary Reception and launch of the ‘State of the Maritime Nation’ report

On Wednesday 11th September, Mersey Maritime will lead a delegation of its members to the launch of the ‘State of the Maritime Nation’ report at the Palace of Westminster. This detailed analysis of the maritime sector will present findings that show the importance of the sector to the British economy both in terms of value and jobs. Mersey Maritime commissioned a spotlight on the Liverpool City Region as part of this report, with the results released during the overall launch.

More information about LISW can be found here: https://londoninternationalshippingweek.com/

By Mersey Maritime

BREXIT THOUGHT-PIECE BY CHRIS SHIRLING-ROOKE

Our industry wants to see a Brexit deal but we’ll rise to the challenges and opportunities if there isn’t

The Prime Minister has written to the President of the European Council outlining the Government’s commitment to securing a new deal with the European Union but also making it clear that Brexit will happen regardless on 31 October 2019.

 

Commenting, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, Chris Shirling-Rooke, said:

“The direction of travel from the Government is clear: the UK will leave the European Union on 31st October 2019 with or without a deal. As a maritime cluster organisation we remain in a neutral position in the overall ‘leave’ or ‘remain’ debate, as we have done since the result of the referendum was known in June 2016.

“Britain is an island nation, so the shipping and maritime sectors are amongst the most important industries to the UK economy. 95% of all imports and exports are moved by the sea which means – even if they don’t realise it – every single person in the country, every single day, will touch, use and eat goods that have been brought to the UK by ship. But our industry is much more than just shipping, it covers our port operations, maritime business services, engineering and leisure marine too which accounts for around £40bn of our economy and a million jobs. Locally, here in the Liverpool City Region, the maritime sector accounts for £4bn of our economy and employs more than 30,000 people. It is absolutely clear that getting Brexit right matters as a direct result of this.

“What is really important at this sensitive time is that we avoid a lot of scaremongering taking place and people playing into the pessimistic and fear-laden agenda that we’ve seen previously. The message from business, and indeed the hundreds of maritime sector businesses we as Mersey Maritime represent, is that we must, above all, have certainty one way or another. That may well be the UK leaving the European Union with a fresh agreement following further talks or no deal on 31st October. Either way, we need to end the uncertainty and move forward.

“My view is relatively simple: our sector desperately wants to see a deal but if we don’t manage it we have complete faith in the energy, dynamism and expertise of our maritime industry to keep goods moving and to minimise any short term disruption there might be.”

By Mersey Maritime

MERSEY MARITIME NAMED AS FINALIST IN MARITIME UK AWARDS

Leading maritime cluster organisation, Mersey Maritime, is delighted to announce that it has been shortlisted as a finalist at the inaugural Maritime UK National Awards 2019.

The awards are the first national maritime awards in the UK, organised by industry, for the benefit of industry. From a judging panel of internationally recognised maritime leaders, to an awards evening in Southampton, the awards process is a unique and impactful way to showcase the diversity of maritime business and celebrate a thriving sector, worth £37.4bn to the UK economy.

Mersey Maritime is a finalist in the Coastal Powerhouse Award category, which was open to a business, charity, organisation or a cohort of any size who has proven themselves as a driver or catalyst for growth within a coastal community.

Commenting, Mersey Maritime Chief Executive, Chris Shirling-Rooke, said:“Mersey Maritime is recognised as one of the world’s leading maritime cluster organisations by both the Department for Transport and the European Commission. We believe, since our foundation in 2003, that our values, passion and vision are helping to transform the Liverpool City Region into a Coastal Powerhouse community. Being recognised as a finalist in this award category will help cement our reputation as a major driver of growth, jobs and collaboration across our sector in this part of the country.

“The maritime sector here in our region is made up of over 1200 business, employs over 28,000 people and is estimated to be worth in excess of £4bn to the economy. Our members are at the heart of what we do to showcase our area as leading the way in innovation, growth and job creation. Recognition in this awards’ final is testament to the strength and importance of the industry locally both now and in the future.”

Ben Murray, Director of Maritime UK said: “Our judges have been blown away by the quality of entries in these inaugural awards. The bar really has been set high and the panel have had a difficult task whittling it down to the final shortlist. Those who have been named as finalists should be very proud.”

Mersey Maritime is the representative body for the Maritime Sector and related industry sectors operating across the Liverpool City Region, working with businesses to develop strong, market-responsive supply chains and promoting Liverpool’s maritime industry as a world class centre of excellence.

The awards will take place at The Leonardo Royal Southampton Grand Harbour Hotel on the evening of 19 September 2019 and are hosted by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

About the Maritime UK Awards – The awards ceremony will take place in a different region every year, with the first taking place in Southampton on 19 September alongside the Southampton Boat Show

To find out more visit www.maritimeuk.org/awards

 

By Mersey Maritime

FREEPORTS THOUGHT-PIECE BY CHRIS SHIRLING-ROOKE

Freeports – an opportunity for the UK to turbocharge growth and post-Brexit trade opportunities as we build a Coastal Powerhouse

The Government have announced that the first new Freeports will be established after the UK leaves the EU, with an advisory panel of senior figures being set up to assist with this exciting opportunity. Freeports are areas inside the geographic boundary of a country but which are legally considered outside the country for customs purposes with goods brought into the Freeport not facing import tariffs. Typically, when goods enter a country, they have to follow the import regulations of that country, which usually involves a tariff – a tax on those imports.

Commenting, Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime said:

“Rather than focus on the potential negative aspects of Britain’s decision to leave the EU, business as a whole, and the maritime industry in particular, has a real opportunity to grasp. For the first time in 45 years we will be able to operate an independent trade policy, setting our own regulations and developing our own policies to meet the specific and individual needs of local economies around the country. Now isn’t the time to shy away from taking full advantage of post-Brexit opportunities to drive jobs and growth as they emerge.

“Locally, here in the Liverpool City Region, the Peel Ports Group have welcomed the announcement that Freeports are to be reintroduced to the UK. With the view from industry that Freeports have the potential to drive economic growth and help create a dynamic Coastal Powerhouse, the Mersey Maritime organisation adds its clear voice of support to this news.

“Until 2012, the Port of Liverpool was the largest Freeport in the UK and I hope local partners will be first in the line to bid to become one of the ten new Freeports. The potential to cut costs for businesses to help them become more globally competitive and the scope for less regulation, helping businesses to cut down on paperwork and bureaucracy, will offer many the greater flexibility they need on when, where and how they trade.

“Let’s grasp this opportunity as quickly as possible and further cement our region’s reputation as being open for investment and the creation of global hubs for enterprise and innovation.”

By Mersey Maritime

SeaKing Electrical strengthens senior management team with new managing director and two new directors

Merseyside headquartered maritime engineering company SeaKing Electrical is announcing a strengthening of its senior management team with the appointment of a new managing director Neil Watson and the promotion of Mark Gillam to operations director and Rachel Downey to finance director.

Mr Watson joins Birkenhead-based SeaKing after spending more than two decades in senior management and managing director roles in industry.  The move will see company founder Dave Gillam move from managing director to chairman supported by current board members Chris Dahill, Eric King and Martin Sealeaf.

Dave Gillam said the time is right to bolster SeaKing’s infrastructure to drive the company forward to ensure the company continues to adapt to meet changing customer requirements.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Neil to our team and promote Mark and Rachel,” he said. “The last 10 years has seen SeaKing grow into one of the best-known electrical engineering companies in the maritime industry with a £8m turnover and more than 100 engineers and office staff. But we want to look to the future now and invest in talented people to take SeaKing to the next level. SeaKing has a clear strategy for growth in the naval, commercial marine and superyacht sectors at home and abroad. There are many opportunities for us but we have to keep pace with industry demands. This will be a big part of Neil’s role to ensure we continue to move with the times and have the internal systems and accreditations in place which are expected by key clients like Cammell Laird, BAE, Rolls Royce, the UK MOD, Konsberg and the wider industry.”

Mr Watson said he is excited about his new role and the strategic vision of SeaKing, seeing huge opportunity to capitalise on Seaking’s market position and reputation.

“SeaKing is very well known and respected in the industry,” he said. “I have been impressed by the innovation of its electrical works, the calibre of its clients and how organised the senior management team are. The board is fully behind the growth strategy and willing to invest in it. There is a lot of potential for growth, in maritime and renewables, but we start with our core work in the UK maritime sector and expand from there. Cammell Laird, as a long-standing client and its work with the UK MOD, is obviously very important and I will be spending more time on professionalising SeaKing’s internal processes. SeaKing understands that to go up a level and grow over the next decade it has to add resource to its senior management team. The key is for operations to remain efficient while at the same time evolving with marketplace requirements.”

Martin Sealeaf, Seaking’s CEO said: “I am confident that the appointment of Mark Gillam and Rachel Downey to the board, both with significant industry and company experience rounds off the new board of directors giving the company the mix of expertise it needs to continually develop and improve its services to meet key customer requirements.”

Seaking Electrical was established in April 2001 targeting maintenance and project work for commercial ships, ferries, naval vessels, cruise ships and superyachts. The company now works across Europe, Asia and the Americas covering many market segments of the marine sector. It has employed 43 apprentices in the last 10 years. SeaKing is certified through Bureau Veritas for the ISO9001 and 14001 management standards.

For further details on the SeaKing Group’s services contact T: +44 (0)151 652 4821 E: enq@seakinggroup.co.uk

By Mersey Maritime

Cammell Laird and Liverpool Philharmonic produce new recording of ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’

Cammell Laird and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO) have joined forces to produce a new recording of the classic ‘60s hit ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’ in support of Wirral becoming the 2019 Borough of Culture for Liverpool City Region.

The new version will have its live premiere at a special concert in Birkenhead Park this September. The event is set to be a highlight of Wirral’s Borough of Culture year and will mark the RLPO only outdoor performance of 2019.

Written by Gerry Marsden and originally recorded in 1964 by his Merseybeat band Gerry and the Pacemakers, ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’ brought the Mersey Ferries worldwide fame. The song not only became an instant hit, it has retained a special place in Mersey culture.

The idea to record a special version was sparked by a meeting during this year’s Animated Square light show at Birkenhead Town Hall between Tony Graham, Chief Operating Officer of Cammell Laird which is based in Birkenhead on the Wirral, and Andrew Cornall, Artistic Director at the RLPO.

Musicians of the RLPO led by their Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko gathered for the recording at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in May and the new arrangement was the work of Tim Jackson, Principal Horn. The recording is due to receive a radio premiere over the summer.

Tony Graham said: “What a fantastic way to celebrate both Cammell Laird’s longstanding links with the Mersey Ferries and the exciting programme of cultural events taking place in Wirral throughout 2019. Tim Jackson has produced a beautiful arrangement and the RLPO has created a fitting new chapter in the life of this iconic piece of music.  We have a superb line-up of events to look forward to over the coming months as the Borough of Culture celebrations continue, and I cannot wait to see this new version of Ferry Cross the Mersey premiere in front of a live audience in September.”

Andrew Cornall added: “The orchestra and Vasily Petrenko were delighted to come together for this recording, which celebrates an iconic song and an iconic feature of our region.”

The RLPO will take to the stage in Birkenhead Park at 7.30pm on Saturday, September 7. Tickets are available now at liverpoolphil.com priced at £15.00 / £12.50 (concessions) with up to two children free per adult ticket, a small charge applies for additional children.

As well as premiering their new version of Ferry Cross the Mersey, the orchestra will perform a mesmerising programme of popular classics, show tunes and exciting film standards, under the baton of conductor, Richard Balcombe. Showcasing music from composers as diverse as Bizet, Lennon and McCartney, John Williams, Holst and others, including some very special interpretations of Merseyside crowd pleasers, this full concert performance will be a spectacular and awe-inspiring experience for audiences of all ages. Liverpool-born international mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston will also join the Orchestra at this special concert.

Cammell Laird is hugely proud of its Mersey Ferries heritage, with the shipyard having built 15 Mersey Ferries dating back to 1836. MV Overchurch was built in Birkenhead in 1962 and Cammell Laird has helped to maintain the current Mersey Ferries fleet for the last 60 years. Commercial shipbuilding returned to Cammell Laird in 2012 with the construction of two car ferries – MV Sound of Seil and MV Sound of Soay. In April this year, the company completed work on Red Kestrel, a £10million ferry for Isle of Wight ferry operator Red Funnel.

Wirral’s year as Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture 2019 includes Made of Iron – a programme of events and exhibitions celebrating Wirral’s shipbuilding and maritime heritage.

Cllr Christine Spriggs, Cabinet Member for Culture and Tourism at Wirral Council, commented: “For our Borough of Culture year, our events have been inspired by discovery, exploration and the great outdoors – a reflection of how our maritime heritage has shaped Wirral’s story. Our Made of Iron series is giving people opportunities to find out more about the role that shipbuilding has played in our communities and also in putting Wirral on the world stage.

“We were excited to hear about this collaboration between Cammell Laird and the RLPO. It’s fantastic that this new version of such a classic Merseyside song will be premiered for a live audience in Birkenhead Park, during one of the highlights of our Borough of Culture year.”

Made of Iron includes exhibition Six Vessels, open at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum until Sunday 22 September, which looks at the stories behind six Wirral-built ships which travelled the world.

A Community Made of Iron seeks to create a digital archive of stories, photographs and artefacts capturing the social history and experiences of workers, families and communities linked to Wirral’s shipbuilding and maritime heritage.

Down Our Street, a musical play by Wirral writer Brian McCann, will be staged at the Floral Pavilion from Thursday 29 August – Sunday 1 September. The show celebrates life in the Cammell Laird shipyard from the industrial revolution to the present day with drama, comedy and song.

Later this year, the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool will present Close Enough to Touch at Birkenhead Priory. The play is a dramatic retelling of the tragic story of HMS Thetis which sank in 1939 with the loss of 99 lives. It will be performed at the historic Birkenhead Priory, which sits next to of the shipyard.

By Mersey Maritime

Cammell Laird and the Engineering College showcase careers for women at INWED event

Birkenhead shipyard and marine engineering services company Cammell Laird gave young women a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in engineering as part of International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) 2019.

Ten girls from schools and colleges in Birkenhead and surrounding areas met female engineers and saw shipbuilding in progress during the event organised by the shipyard and the Engineering College.

The event aimed to encourage more women into engineering and highlight the opportunities available as Cammell Laird prepares to launch a recruitment drive for apprentices.

The girls even toured polar research vessel the Sir David Attenborough, described to them by Cammell Laird chief operating officer Tony Graham as “the ship that will save the planet”. And they heard first-hand how the build is progressing from Carrie Harris, second engineer with the British Antarctic Survey, who will be one of eight women out of the ship’s 28 crew once it launches.

Mr Graham addressed the group of young women with Cammell Laird managing director Paul Owen to explain why the day was so important.

He said: “Just increasing our workforce numbers isn’t good enough for me. We need increasing levels of diversity and the right kind of talent in the business, people with passion and loyalty, who are confident and willing to learn, who are going to go on our growth journey with us.

“I’ve always considered engineering to be the only true discipline that leaves people with life defining memories and there isn’t anybody working on the Sir David Attenborough now who won’t still be talking about it in ten years’ time. We create national monuments and we need to inspire the next generation of young women to get excited about engineering.”

Mr Owen said engineering had given him the opportunity to visit 130 countries during his career. “If you are driven by challenges then engineering is a great environment to be in, but don’t wait for other people to give you these opportunities,” he said.

The day began with a visit to the neighbouring Engineering College, where Cammell Laird apprentices train, where Olivia Weston, a degree apprentice in the marketing department and a mentor for The Girls’ Network, talked about how engineering can cover all walks of life. “We’ve trained engineers who go on to fix machinery in intensive care departments, work in heavy industry or provide the audio-visual equipment in a George Ezra concert – engineering really is in everything you can think of,” she said.

The group then moved over to Cammell Laird where the girls heard from assistant ship manager Claire Biggar and former mechanical fitting apprentice Kirsten Blood, who is now a quality inspector in the tooling department.

Kirsten told the group: “The shipyard is fast-paced and ever-changing and there’s always a huge sense of achievement in everything we do. It can be a bit disheartening that there aren’t more female chief engineers or captains of ships, so we want to see more girls coming through the yard.”

Claire, a former Royal Navy weapons engineer, is currently overseeing the painting of the Sir David Attenborough.

“Ship building, and engineering, amazes me every day and it can be whatever you want it to be and take you wherever you want to go,” she said.

Carrie Harris, who led a tour of the Sir David Attenborough, will oversee the running of the vessel, which she told the group could involve everything from whether the radar was working to whether the toilets were flushing.

She said: “If you’re looking at an apprenticeship there’s a lot of job stability in engineering. It was by accident that I got into engineering but there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.”

The International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) event aims to encourage more women into engineering careers and was backed by businesses and organisations across the industry.

By Mersey Maritime

ADDITIONAL SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED FOR THE INAUGURAL MARITIME EXCHANGE CONFERENCE

Mersey Maritime has released details of further speakers joining their new national maritime conference.

The Maritime Exchange

‘The Maritime Exchange,’ announced earlier this month in response to the Government’s Maritime 2050 report, will provide vital updates about key themes drawn from the report including the changing landscapes of Trade, Technology and Innovation and People and Skills, with each theme being examined by an industry leading speaker and panel.

Growing Line-up

Alongside previously announced speakers, Sir Michael Bibby (President – UK Chamber of Shipping), Helen Kelly, (Head of Communications, Nautilus), Lesley Batchelor OBE (Director General – Institute of Export) and Sarah Kenny, (CEO – BMT) the following speakers have been confirmed:

  • Tim Morris, CEO, UK Major Ports Group
  • Asbjorn Kops, Head of Products (UK and Ireland), Maersk
  • Sarah Thompson, Regional Security Advisor, Chevron Global Security
  • Nawaz Ali, Senior Currency Strategist UK/EMEA, Western Union Business Solutions
  • Cdre Rich Harris, Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh

Further details of the speakers and panel discussions will be shared over the following weeks.

Register

The conference is free to attend for businesses operating in and supporting the maritime industry, to find out more and register your interest in attending visit http://bit.ly/TheMaritimeExchange

By Mersey Maritime

Sir Michael Bibby announced as keynote speaker for new national maritime conference to be held in Liverpool

  • The Maritime Exchange is a new national maritime conference organised by and in association with Mersey Maritime.
  • The conference will address some of the key themes raised in the Governments Maritime 2050 report including Trade, Technology and Innovation and People and Skills.

Mersey Maritime have announced a new maritime conference; The Maritime Exchange, which will take place on Thursday 13th June in Liverpool Town Hall.

The Maritime Exchange

The Maritime Exchange has been developed in response to the Government’s Maritime 2050 report that sets out the long-term strategy for the UK maritime sector, providing direction and recommendations for the industry to retain its competitive advantage as a world leading maritime nation. The maritime industry currently contributes £37.4bn to the UK economy and employs 957,000 people nationwide.

The Maritime Exchange will provide vital updates about key themes drawn from Maritime 2050 including the changing landscapes of Trade, Technology and Innovation and People and Skills, with each theme being examined by an industry leading speaker and panel. The aim is to provide insight and practical applications to businesses throughout the conference.

Speakers confirmed

The conference will be chaired by Helen Kelly, Head of Communications Nautilus (former Editor in Chief Lloyds List) and already has a fantastic line-up of leading industry speakers including:

  • Sir Michael Bibby, President UK Chamber of Shipping
  • Sarah Kenny, CEO BMT and Vice Chair of Maritime UK
  • Lesley Batchelor OBE, Director General Institute of Export

Chris Shirling-Rooke, CEO Mersey Maritime said:

“The Maritime Exchange is a national conference for the maritime industry led by Mersey Maritime.

The conference will tackle some of the key opportunities and challenges that the industry faces, with the speakers and panel discussions providing some healthy debate and practical solutions about how we can collaborate and evolve to meet the future needs of the industry.

The conference will also provide an insight into some of the businesses and expertise amongst the Mersey Maritime cluster”

Register to attend

The conference is free to attend for businesses operating in and supporting the maritime industry, to find out more and register your interest in attending visit http://bit.ly/TheMaritimeExchange

By Mersey Maritime

Liverpool Council gives green light to new Isle of Man ferry terminal

Work on the new Isle of Man ferry terminal is set to begin this summer after the £31 project secured planning consent from Liverpool city council.

Part of Peel’s £5bn Liverpool Waters scheme, the work will see the terminal relocated a few hundred yards along the river bank from its current location close to the Pier Head and will be at the far end of the new planned cruise liner terminal.

The new terminal is being funded by the Isle of Man Government which has taken a long lease on the site from Peel and is now ready to press ahead with the 30,000 sq ft development.

Liverpool City Council is building a new link road to the terminal which it is hoped will be operational by the end of 2020.

Chief minister of the Isle of Man Government Howard Quayle said: “Gaining planning consent is brilliant news, and the next step in delivering this vital project. The need to secure such a strategically important asset was acknowledged in the Programme for Government and we now look forward to seeing the Island’s new terminal take shape.”

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said the new terminal was a “critical” piece in the regeneration plans for the north shore of Liverpool.

He added: “The city council is investing a huge amount of money in the transport infrastructure to support this new facility and we are delighted it now has planning approval and can look forward to its completion.

“The Isle of Man and Liverpool have a historic relationship and this new ferry terminal will cement our strong links and forge even closer ties into the future.”

By Mersey Maritime

Member of the Month: Robinson Rice Associates

Having a competitive edge is important for any business and it is perhaps even more of a challenge for an accountancy firm to come up with that offer that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Robinson Rice Associates, which employs 12 people across its three Merseyside offices in Ainsdale, Crosby and West Kirby, is a full-service practice offering everything you would expect, from company accounts to tax compliance and planning.

Maritime niche

But the firm, founded by Beverley Rice 17 years ago, has carved out a particular niche in Liverpool city region’s £4bn powerhouse maritime sector, offering first-rate expertise in maritime and shipping tax regulations.

“We think we are quite unique,” said director Dave Elliott. “Normally when a company is seeking maritime tax expertise they have to go as far as London to find it. They are pleasantly surprised when they find us right on their doorstep.”

Pictured: Beverley Rice and David Elliot

Although Robinson Rice has counted a number of shipping companies among its client base for a number of years, its membership of Mersey Maritime has boosted its profile in the sector even further.

Dave added: “We have significant maritime expertise and experience in-house here and being able to network with members of Mersey Maritime has given us a real boost. We have picked up work within other maritime sub-sectors such as engineering.

“We are now seeing real growth in the city region maritime sector. Certainly in the eight years I have been here I have seen how much Mersey Maritime has grown. And if you look around you see expansion at the Liverpool Cruise Terminal and at Peel’s Liverpool2 container facility. These are exciting times for the local maritime industry.”

Managing change

Of course, Robinson Rice’s expertise and client list goes way beyond the maritime sector with the firm working with small and medium-sized enterprises across all sectors as well as offering its services to individuals.

According to Dave, two of the biggest issues facing businesses at the moment are the Government’s Making Tax Digital initiative and, of course, Brexit.

He explained: “From April 1, MTD has required firms that turn over more than £85,000 a year, to file their VAT returns online with HMRC via MTD compatible digital software and that is now very much at the forefront of the minds of business owners.

“I think there was a bit of apathy about it before it came in but people are now very much aware of it. We have been very pro-active with our clients well in advance of the launch to make sure they are fully up to speed with the changes.

“There is now a realisation kicking in but we are working hard to take as much of the strain off the client as we can. As for Brexit, that is obviously creating worry and uncertainty. That said, we think the market is still reasonably buoyant.”

Like all forward-thinking businesses, Robinson Rice is always looking for new opportunities for growth and its latest offering is a joint venture with a financial planning firm to offer financial planning services to its business and individual clients.

“It is early days for that but the feedback we have had so far has been really positive,” added Dave. “We are always looking at ways we can expand and take on new clients. Merseyside is really on the up at the moment and, despite the challenges, we are very optimistic about the future.”

Mersey Maritime will once again put the Liverpool City Region in the spotlight
BREXIT THOUGHT-PIECE BY CHRIS SHIRLING-ROOKE
MERSEY MARITIME NAMED AS FINALIST IN MARITIME UK AWARDS
FREEPORTS THOUGHT-PIECE BY CHRIS SHIRLING-ROOKE
July E-zine
SeaKing Electrical strengthens senior management team with new managing director and two new directors
Cammell Laird and Liverpool Philharmonic produce new recording of ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’
Cammell Laird and the Engineering College showcase careers for women at INWED event
ADDITIONAL SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED FOR THE INAUGURAL MARITIME EXCHANGE CONFERENCE
Sir Michael Bibby announced as keynote speaker for new national maritime conference to be held in Liverpool
Liverpool Council gives green light to new Isle of Man ferry terminal
Member of the Month: Robinson Rice Associates