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

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Maritime backs drive to strengthen links with Europe, despite Brexit

Merseyside’s powerhouse maritime sector has taken a lead role in a major Anglo-Dutch summit held in Liverpool to discuss opportunities for trade, collaboration and growth.

Industry body Mersey Maritime, along with Port of Liverpool owner Peel Ports took part in the Maritime Nations Forum, organised by Maritime UK and the Netherlands Business Support Office. Royal HaskoningDHV and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) also took part.

More than 100 delegates attended including 30 Dutch companies and members of the Dutch Government.

Clear message

And the overall message from the event was that the UK’s departure from the EU does not mean the UK is leaving Europe and the focus of the forum was how the British and Dutch maritime sectors can forge stronger ties post-Brexit.

Port innovation was high on the agenda and the discussion was chaired by Richard Ballantyne, chief executive of the British Ports Association. Keynote speakers included Gert-Jan Nieuwenhuizen, managing director at the Port of Amsterdam and Andrew Byrne, managing Director at the Port of Immingham.

The forum saw delegates discussing the huge propensity for maritime trade and collaboration between both countries in spite of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and highlights how areas like Liverpool are taking practical steps toward positive trade relationships with the UK’s European neighbours.

Driving exports

Ben Murray, director of Maritime UK, said: “The first high-level Maritime Nations Forum between our two countries show a clear intent to strengthen relations and collaboration between our two maritime nations.

“At a time of great uncertainty for the UK as it leaves the EU, we should celebrate that business is getting on with its job – fostering innovation, driving exports and creating jobs. The UK is leaving the EU, not Europe. The event shows that British Industry is as keen as ever to build stronger links with our North Sea neighbour.”

Mersey Maritime chief executive Chris Shirling-Rooke took part in a panel discussion on “port innovation culture of excellence” that also included ABP, the Port of Amsterdam and Maritime UK.

The forum was organised with Mersey Maritime and sponsored by Royal HaskoningDHV and Rotterdam Maritime Capital of Europe. The second Maritime Nations Forum will be held later in the year.

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Maritime announces finalists for 5th Annual Industry Awards

The finalists for the 2019 industry awards have been confirmed by a panel of 13 industry leading judges.

The 36 finalists for the Mersey Maritime Industry Awards 2019 have started the year on a positive note after finding out yesterday that they have been successfully shortlisted in the first round of judging.

The first round saw a strong line-up of applications being critiqued by an esteemed judging panel to determine the three finalists for each of the 12 award categories, including face to face interviews for each of the ‘Rising Star’ applicants.

The finalists will now advance to the second stage of the judging process, which is an ‘Industry Vote’ that will launch in February. Continuing to set itself apart from other award’s events, Mersey Maritime will work with the finalists to produce short films to bring to life their application and showcase their achievements. The films will then be used to help voters make informed decisions about who they want to win.

Mersey Maritime CEO, Chris Shirling-Rooke said, ‘Our judges were really impressed with the remarkable range of applications and the diversity of the companies and individuals that applied. Selecting the finalists was not an easy job.

We’re really excited about trialling the industry vote this year and giving the maritime community a voice in our awards. We cannot wait to find out who are ultimate winners will be’

Mersey Maritime Industry Awards 2019 finalists are: 

Business of the Year – sponsored by Stellamar

  • Brookes Bell
  • Offshore Painting Services
  • Royal HaskoningDHV

Employer of the Year – sponsored by Kays Medical

  • D Morgan
  • Hill Dickinson
  • Peel Ports Group

Engineering – sponsored by Wirral Waters

  • Micro-Epsilon
  • Royal HaskoningDHV
  • Walker Engineering

Freight & Logistics – sponsored by Fort Recruitment

  • Denholm Logistics
  • InXpress
  • Peel Ports Group

Global Reach – sponsored by Denholm UK Logistics

  • Beegrip
  • Hill Dickinson
  • Stellamar

Innovation – sponsored by Peel Ports Group

  • Bibby Hydromap
  • GP Shipping
  • Royal HaskoningDHV

Maritime Professional Services – sponsored by The Royal Navy

  • Brabners
  • Brookes Bell
  • Hill Dickinson

Micro Business – sponsored by the Manufacturing Technology Centre

  • Beegrip
  • DGB Solicitors
  • Fort Recruitment

National Impact – sponsored by Royal HaskoningDHV

  • National Oceanography Centre
  • Offshore Painting Services
  • Stellamar

Positive Impact – sponsored by Offshore Painting Services

  • Beech Group
  • National Oceanography Centre
  • Propeller Club Liverpool

Rising Star – sponsored by Western Union

  • Claire Gilchrist – Royal HaskoningDHV
  • Dan Wilkinson – D Morgan
  • Graham Fisher – The Shipping Exchange

SME of the Year – sponsored by NatWest

  • Bibby Hydromap
  • Offshore Painting Services
  • Walker Engineering

By Mersey Maritime

We achieved great things in 2018 – with 2019 set to be even better!

2018 was a great year for the maritime industry across the region, with new services secured at the Port of Liverpool, the launch of the RSS Sir David Attenborough polar expedition vessel from Cammell Laird, approved plans for a new £5bn Cruise Terminal to accommodate the significant growth in calls over the last few years and finally the city hosting the Northern launch of the Women in Maritime Charter alongside Maritime UK.

Mersey Maritime 2018

It has been a busy but rewarding year for Mersey Maritime, delivering a vast number of diverse events, workshops and seminars covering a multitude of themes and topics including Brexit, Blockchain, Cyber Security, Social Media Training, HR Support, Ballast Water as well as welcoming other key industry speakers.

Highlights of the year include:

  • Supporting a trade mission to New York with the Secretary of State for Department for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox
  • Hosting the Northern Launch of the Women in Maritime Charter at the Liverpool Town Hall, opened by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson and with key female speakers from across the industry including Julia Bradley (Peel Ports), Helen Kelly (Lloyds List), Kathryn Nielson (Merchant Navy Training Board) and Sue Terpilowski (Women in Maritime Chair)
  • Our Mersey Maritime Industry Awards 2018 which was our biggest yet, with 450 guests in attendance and key winners of the night including Accu-right Engineering, Royal HaskoningDHV, Peel Ports Group and Offshore Painting Services
  •  Supporting both the Labour and Conservative conferences, with fringe event for Shadow Transport Ministers in Liverpool and speaking at a panel event on Coastal Powerhouses in Birmingham
  •  We launched our Evening Face-to-Face events, bringing our signature event to different members locations across the region with key industry speakers (including Maritime UK, RSM UK and Cruise Liverpool)
  • We hosted four executive events (for our sponsors) including a lunch with cyber-security experts Cyxtera, dinner with the Maritime UK board, dinner with the Vice Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University and finally a dinner with the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC where Mersey Maritime also pledged their support to the Corporate Covenant
  • To understand our members needs and requirements in more detail, we issued a member’s feedback survey and launched our Members Engagement Group who have already met twice this year

National Impact

We have also worked hard to continue our traction at a national level, providing our members with the opportunity to feed into the Maritime Sector Deal, Maritime 2050 and the Women in Maritime initiative. My role as Chair of the Regional Cluster Council will also provide our members with great opportunities across the UK when we roll out the scheme (based on the Mersey Maritime model) in next year.

Looking to 2019

It looks like 2019 is going to be another eventful year, with political uncertainty facing us all, Mersey Maritime will be on hand to support our members and will continue to represent and champion the needs and demands of the industry across the Liverpool City Region.

We have some great events planned for next year including:

  • The UK-NL Maritime Nations Forum, in association with Maritime UK and the Netherlands Business Support Office which will take place in Liverpool (17th January)
  • Our fifth Mersey Maritime Industry Awards in March which is now a key event on the national maritime calendar (14th March)
  • We will be relaunching our Export Forum in conjunction with Western Union Business Solutions.
  •  Supporting London Shipping Week in September with several different events scheduled
  • Offering monthly open surgery sessions for all members to drop in to discuss any concerns and or opportunities with the Mersey Maritime team

In addition to the above, we will continue to offer all our usual activity and would encourage you to inform us of any key themes, topics and challenges that you would like us to address.

On behalf of all the Mersey Maritime team and our Board Members – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Chris Shirling-Rooke

CEO, Mersey Maritime

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Maritime Launches 5th Annual Industry Awards

Mersey Maritime has launched their fifth annual industry awards and is calling for maritime and logistics businesses across the Northern Powerhouse to start preparing their entries for the 2019 awards.  

The Mersey Maritime Industry Awards, have established an incredible reputation as one of the leading maritime award events in the UK, which celebrates the achievements of the industry’s most outstanding companies and performers. The applications are open to any maritime or maritime related organisations, businesses and individuals across the Northern Powerhouse and Isle of Man.

The Awards

The awards will take place on 14th March 2019, in the stunning Titanic Hotel in Liverpool and are already fully sponsored; including diamond sponsors Beech Group, Peel Ports, Stellamar and Western Union. The event will be hosted by BBC Breakfast Presenter Louise Minchin and it is expected that 2019 will be the biggest yet with more than 450 industry professionals in attendance.

The Application Process 

Entries for the Mersey Maritime Industrial Awards 2019 are now open, and you can submit your entry via the Mersey Maritime website. There are 13 award categories including Business of the Year, Rising Star and Innovation awards. The closing date for submitting award entries is midday Friday 14th December 2018, every application received is assessed by Mersey Maritime’s prestigious industry judging panel, who select the finalists for each category. The winner of each category will this year be determined by the industry itself, with an industry voting platform launching in February 2019.

Mersey Maritime CEO Chris Shirling-Rooke said “the industry vote is all about creating even more opportunities to showcase the fantastic innovation, growth and positive impacts happening across the Northern Powerhouse. We want everyone to feel involved in championing the region. There is already a great sense of comradery at the awards evening and we hope to shine a spotlight on this throughout the voting process”

To view the award categories, download an application pack or buy tickets/tables, please visit Mersey Maritime’s website.

By Mersey Maritime

Steve Rotheram updates Mersey Maritime Members of his ‘ambitious plans’ for the Region

Photo Credit: Al Disley Images 

Liverpool City Region’s Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram delivered a presentation to Mersey Maritime members surrounding his ‘ambitious plans’ for the region.

Speaking at Mersey Maritime’s monthly ‘Face-2-Face,’ networking event Mr Rotheram discussed his plans for encouraging investment in the area, developing the skills to match, and positioning the Liverpool City Region as the digital gateway for the next industrial revolution.

Digital Gateway

With ultra-fast internet access by connecting the GTT fibre spine in Southport, to the Hartree super computer in Daresbury via a digital loop, the city region has the potential to be the digital gateway to the fourth industrial revolution. It is the Metro Mayor’s vision to link these incredible resources together to connect every business, school, university, hospital and home in the area, with the best connectivity speeds in the whole country.

These resources would also give the region the ability to work on ‘Big Data’ analytics, with the Metro Mayor urging attendees to consider the applications for the maritime sector.

‘One Front Door’

Drawing on models used in other regions, Mr Rotheram talked about his plans to establish ‘one front door,’ for investors wishing to capitalise on opportunities in the Liverpool City Region. This plan would create one complementary team to act as a central agency for marketing and inward investment for the whole of the Liverpool City Region.

Laying the foundations for this collaborative approach could enable the city region to benefit from more opportunities post-Brexit, with the Metro Mayor going on to acknowledge that Brexit could have a positive impact on the region’s maritime sector, particularly with opportunities in relation to transatlantic trade.


Just 33% of people across the Northern Powerhouse have a degree-level qualification, compared with 61% in London. The Liverpool City Region has the lowest levels of NVQ Level 3 achievement in the UK.

Discussing this with members, Mr Rotheram noted the importance of understanding the barriers for individuals face when trying to secure employment and break them down.

Since coming into post 18 months ago the Metro Mayor has established a £5m scheme to help households get back into work alongside other initiatives such as half price travel for apprentices.


By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Maritime chief says Merseyside will benefit from new ‘golden era’ of trade with the US

Photo: Queen Mary 2nd rendezvous with HMS Queen Elizabeth, supplied by Cunard

Liverpool city region could benefit by more than £500m in extra trade and investment in a new “golden era” as the US and UK move closer to a post-Brexit trade deal.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, chief executive of industry body Mersey Maritime has returned from a high-level trade delegation to New York, headed by the Secretary of State for the Department of International Trade, Dr Liam Fox.

They held a meeting aboard the UK’s new state-of-the-art aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, with representatives from New York Maritime (NYMAR) and a range of leading American lawyers, bankers, shipbrokers, insurers and technologists in the first meeting of the Maritime Nations Forum.

Mr Shirling-Rooke believes that because Liverpool is one of Europe’s main westerly-facing ports then the increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) and exports post-Brexit with the US could see an extra £500m coming into Merseyside within five years.

Trade deal

The venue for the summit, which also included senior representatives of Maritime UK and Peel Group, was of particular significance for Merseyside as the flight decks of the Royal Navy vessel were built at Birkenhead shipyard Cammell Laird.

Just days before the meeting, the US Government had formally confirmed it intends to pursue a trade deal with the UK “as soon as it is ready” after leaving the EU and Mr Shirling-Rooke said those at the meeting were keen to do business with Britain’s maritime sector.

“We are the major west-facing port and the all the business leaders we spoke to in the States were adamant they want to significantly increase the volume of trade between our two nations.

“We already trade more with the US than any other single nation on the planet, there is a total of $1 trillion investment between the two countries and more than 1m British nationals go to work for US companies every day.

“Peel Ports has invested in excess of  £1bn into Liverpool2 and the infrastructure along the Manchester Ship Canal to Port Salford, and is equipped to handle the world’s biggest cargo vessels. Liverpool city region has built the most successful maritime cluster in Europe with an annual GVA contribution of more than £4bn.

“We are ready and willing step up to take full advantage of a new golden era of increased transatlantic trade and investment – this will re-energise the special relationship between the UK and the US.”

Export market

The US is the largest export market for the UK, while as a supplier of goods and services to the UK, the US comes in second. For both imports and exports the UK is only behind the US’s immediate neighbours, Canada and Mexico.

This interconnectedness extends beyond goods and services, to include foreign direct investment (FDI). For Britain, the US is the largest single source of FDI, while the US is also the largest destination for FDI by British firms.

Equally, The UK is ranked second as a destination for American companies to invest, accounting for 13% of the total foreign investment by US companies.

By Mersey Maritime

International Trade Day – Trade Mission of British Maritime Leaders arrive in New York

Mersey Maritime are part of a UK delegation to discuss the future US/UK maritime trade relations

  • Secretary of State for the Department of International Trade, Dr. Liam Fox, joins British Maritime Leaders aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth, for the inaugural ‘Maritime Nations Forum’ between the UK and US.
  • Delegation arrives as US administration formally confirmed it intends to pursue a trade deal with the UK “as soon as it is ready” after leaving the EU.

Mersey Maritime; the Liverpool City Regions promotional cluster for the maritime industry, is part of the UK delegation of business leaders from the maritime sector to arrive in New York today accompanied by the Secretary of State for the Department of International Trade, Dr. Liam Fox.

The British maritime leaders will meet with an American delegation aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth at the inaugural ‘Maritime Nations Forum’ between the UK and US.  The maritime delegation arrives at a pivotal time in the negotiations on the UK’s departure from the EU, following the US administration formally confirming its intent last week to pursue a trade deal with the UK “as soon as it is ready” after leaving the EU. The trade mission will explore opportunities for the UK to further strengthen its trading and investing relationship with the United States.

The UK maritime sector is the fundamental enabler of Britain’s global trade. The sector adds £37.4 billion to UK GDP and supports just under 1,000,000 jobs nationally, in the Liverpool City Region alone the sector contributes £3.5bn to the local economy and employs more than 28,000 people.

Liam Fox, Secretary of State for the Department of International Trade, said:

“The UK and US are steadfast maritime partners, symbolised by the presence of the HMS Queen Elizabeth in New York today.

“My international economic department will continue to work with Maritime UK to encourage investment into our maritime sector, whilst providing a wealth of export support for our hard-working British businesses.”

Chris Shirling-Rooke, CEO Mersey Maritime, said:

“There are already well-established trade relationships between Liverpool and the US, but today symbolises the opportunity to further expand our transatlantic partnerships. I am delighted to be part of this critical delegation to the United States and represent the interests of the North West maritime industry alongside our members Peel Group and global members Western Union and Cxytera.

“Liverpool already handles over a third of the transatlantic container trade, but there is further potential with the development of the new container terminal; Liverpool2, at the Port of Liverpool, and we are exploring other UK/US investment opportunities to enhance and grow the maritime sector within the region”

By Mersey Maritime

Ex-forces personnel can fill the maritime skills gap, says Mersey Maritime CEO

Industry body Mersey Maritime says ex-service personnel could be crucial in solving the local maritime sector’s skills shortage over the next few years.

The Wirral based organisation, which represents hundreds of maritime businesses across Liverpool city region including Peel Ports, Atlantic Container Line (ACL), Royal Haskoning DHV and Bibby Group, has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, committing to helping ex-services personnel.

First Sea Lord

Chief executive Chris Shirling-Rooke signed the Covenant with Britain’s First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC, at a high-level industry dinner hosted by Mersey Maritime to celebrate the First Sea Lord visiting Liverpool. Admiral Sir Philip Jones has been the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff for over two years and spoke to the guests about his role and responsibilities within the Naval Services and broader Armed Forces.

The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC said: “Mersey Maritime’s work facilitating engagement, addressing skills shortages and communicating the maritime case to a broad audience provides a real boost to businesses and organisations across the North West who share a common interest in the maritime domain.

“I’m delighted that Mersey Maritime have publicly expressed their support for our servicemen and women by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. By tapping into the broad skills base and experience of our service leavers the maritime community stands to benefit as much as our people, so many of whom call Merseyside home.”

The signing of the Covenant was also witnessed by Commodore Philip Waterhouse, Naval Regional Commander Northern England and Isle of Man, and Geoff Nuzum, regional employer engagement North West RFCA. The dinner was attended by Mersey Maritime members and sponsored by MAS Optimisation, who are a lean management consultancy that also run a programme providing a link between industry and former services personnel.

Significant growth

Liverpool city region’s maritime sector is worth almost £4bn annually and employs more than 28,000 people. The sector is predicting significant growth over the next decade and will need thousands more skilled people.

Mr Shirling-Rooke said: “People in the Army, Navy and Air Force are trained in a whole range of skills during their period of service to their country. Many of those skills, particularly in area such as engineering, logistics and people management, are the kinds of skills our members are crying out for.

“We would urge all our members and businesses across the local maritime sector to consider signing the Covenant and supporting our armed forces”

Vital support

Already supported by 407 local authorities across the UK, the Covenant focuses on helping members of the armed forces community have the same access to Government and commercial services and products as any other citizen.

This support is provided in a number of areas including education and family well-being; having a home; starting a new career; access to healthcare; financial assistance; discounted services.

Mersey Maritime’s signing of the Covenant comes just weeks after it also signed up to the Women in Maritime Charter, which aims to increase the number of women at all levels in the maritime sector.

Mr Shirling-Rooke added: “Our maritime sector is going to need many more people over the next few years. It makes perfect business sense to cast its net as wide as possible when it comes to recruitment.”

Photographs by Al Disley Images 

By Mersey Maritime

Exporting boosts productivity, delegates at trade event are told

UK companies that trade overseas can see their productivity rise by up to 34%, a major export event hosted at Mersey Maritime’s headquarters was told.

The Maritime Knowledge Hub in Birkenhead was the venue for the latest instalment of the Institute of Export and International Trade’s World Trade Summit programme, which saw speakers share their knowledge and experiences of international trade.

Deputy Mayor of Liverpool Gary Millar revealed the Government data that linked productivity to exporting in a speech described as “inspiring” by the institute. Cllr Millar drew on his long career selling businesses overseas, and also promoting Liverpool and the UK to the world.

Global opportunities

Among the many intriguing stories he related from his exporting past, was how an introduction of colour to typically mundane products such stair edgings and door handles earned him significant contracts with corporate giants, including fast food chain McDonalds.

His point about more companies needing to look at the opportunities that export brings was echoed by Luke Fitzsimmons of Bibby Financial Services and Chris Manka  from the Federation of Small Businesses, both of whom advocated the strength of ‘Brand Britain’ as a key asset for UK businesses when selling overseas.

Power of clusters

Mersey Maritime chief executive Chris Shirling-Rooke also addressed the delegates on the power of maritime clusters. Liverpool city region has now established itself as the most successful maritime cluster in the UK, with an annual GVA contribution of almost £4bn.

He outlined how the cluster model was a powerful tool in facilitating and increasing international trade and spoke of the local support provided by Mersey Maritime through the clustering of academic institutes and local government to provide support that isn’t driven by private interests, but by the need to grow local economies and jobs.

The discussion was chaired by Lesley Batchelor, director general of the Institute of Export and International Trade, who emphasised that exporting takes time and it needs to be done properly if companies don’t want to make costly mistakes.

She repeated the presentation she has made throughout this year’s programme calling for businesses to learn the skills of export – especially with Brexit coming up so fast.

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Maritime takes the lead in national Women in Maritime campagin

Mersey Maritime is spearheading a national campaign to increase the number of women in the industry.

The Women in Maritime Charter

The Women in Maritime initiative was set up by Maritime UK, and Mersey Maritime are part of the Taskforce that is addressing the lack of gender diversity in the UK maritime sector.

This week saw the launch of a Charter, which creates a framework to challenge companies to make progress on diversity and will be supported by a suite of ‘toolkits’ or resources to help companies realise those targets. Companies joining the Women in Maritime Charter will be required to agree an ‘action plan’, setting out individual targets for each participating company.

Since Maritime UK’s Women in Maritime Taskforce called for companies to engage in its work, over 60 companies have signed a pledge designed to signal intent on gender diversity, including local businesses Peel Ports Group, CMA CGM and Complete Training Solutions. Having consulted those companies on the design of the Charter, the Taskforce is now calling for Charter ‘pilots’ to come forward and agree their action plans.

The Northern Charter Launch

Yesterday Mersey Maritime hosted the Northern Launch of the Charter at Liverpool Town Hall for 80 delegates. The event was opened by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson; a former seafarer himself, Joe signed the pledge and spoke about the importance of maritime and the River Mersey to the region: “This magnificent river runs through our city region and it runs through our veins…we have to demand more equality in the sector and encourage women to be part of the maritime community”.

The Launch celebrated the thriving maritime industry within Liverpool City Region which contributes over £3.5bn to the region’s economy and employs over 28,000 people, hearing the career journeys of three women within the industry; Angie Redhead, Head of City Assets at Liverpool City Council, Ruth Wood, Commercial Manager at Mersey Maritime and Kirsten Blood, Quality Assurance Inspector at Cammell Laird, the purpose being to try and breakdown some of the misconceptions about the industry.

There was also a panel discussion about the charter, represented by Julia Bradley, Sales and Marketing Director at Peel Ports Group, Kathryn Nielson, Director at Merchant Navy Training Board, Helen Kelly, European Editor in Chief at Lloyds List and Tom Powell, Managing Director at Complete Training Solutions.

Julia Bradley said, “There is a fallacy that maritime is dark and archaic but we want to highlight that it is actually very technology led”.

A key focus of the discussion was the importance of education and demystifying the maritime industry from a young age, Kathryn Nielson said “If this campaign is to succeed then it requires a huge cultural change – we need to start with the younger generation and capture the hearts and minds of 8-10-year olds, before they develop any preconceived ideas about male and female work roles”

The event was closed by Sue Terpilowski, Chair of the Women in Maritime Taskforce who told the attendees: “The world is changing and this campaign represents a golden opportunity for the maritime sector. Please get involved because if we are united, we can get this done”.

Government backing

The Women in Maritime Taskforce has the support of the Department for Transport and Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP who said: “Our maritime sector keeps Britain thriving, but it’s missing out on a wealth of talent. No industry is a closed shop and there are simply too few women working in rewarding maritime careers, both at sea and on shore. It’s great to now see a real drive from companies wanting to attract women into roles, from captains and chief engineers at sea, to senior executives on shore, which will in turn help unlock the potential of their businesses.”

To find out more about the Women in Maritime Charter please contact

By Mersey Maritime

Merseyside takes the lead plan to build huge floating wind farm in the Atlantic

Merseyside firms could take the lead on a multi-billion pound project to create huge windfarms out in the Atlantic – with floating turbines each taller than the Statue of Liberty.

Industry body Mersey Maritime and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) are both key players in the EU-funded ARCWIND – a £3.5bn project to assess feasibility of the next generation of wind power.

Countries such as Denmark and Germany were the early pioneers of wind power but there is now a considerable well of expertise in the UK, and particularly in the Liverpool city region with one of the world’s biggest wind farms located in Liverpool Bay.

Burbo Bank

Burbo Bank, off Merseyside coast, was opened in 2007 and comprised 25 3.6MW turbines and, last year, the Burbo Bank extension was opened, comprising a further 32 8MW turbines. The wind farm can generate enough electricity to power 310,000 homes.

Danish renewable energy giant Ørsted operates the wind farm from its permanent facility in Birkenhead and the development and the ongoing maintenance of the turbines has involved firms across the Liverpool city region.

That know-how could be crucial in the development of the ARCWIND turbines, each one with a generating capacity of 10MW and attached to floating platforms, as opposed to the fixed seabed bases at Burbo Bank. They would take advantage of stronger winds further out to sea.

Economic feasibility

Dr Musa Bashir, a senior lecturer in marine and offshore engineering in LJMU’s Department of Maritime and Mechanical Engineering, is taking part in the research project which lasts until 2020 and involves several European countries.

He said: “We are looking at floating wind farms and making realistic assessments of production, costs and economic feasibility, taking into account logistics, maintenance planning and risk assessment.

“The heights of the turbines we are looking at are between 180 metres and 220 metres from mean sea level. This means that they are higher than the Statue of Liberty at 93m but lower than the Eiffel tower at 324m”.

Falling subsidies

Wind power has required significant Government subsidy until now but, with turbines becoming bigger and more efficient all the time, that cost of that subsidy has dropped and the offshore wind sector claims that process is set to accelerate.

Mersey Maritime chief executive, Chris Shirling-Rooke, added: “Liverpool city region’s £4bn maritime industry contains world class expertise across a number of sectors – offshore wind being a great example of that.

“Energy security is a key issue for the UK now and over the coming decades. Offshore wind is coming of age in terms of efficiency and economic viability. It has the potential to create thousands of new jobs an we want to ensure Liverpool city region takes the lead and gains maximum benefit.”

By Mersey Maritime

Former service people can fill the skills gap, says leading consultant

There are around 150,000 ex-service men and women across the UK seeking work and they could provide the solution to the chronic skills shortage in many industries.

That was the message from Roger Jones of Mersey Maritime member MAS Consulting who is looking to help retrain former service personnel to adapt the valuable skills they already possess for use on “civvy street”.


Royal Air Force

Roger was addressing the August breakfast Face2Face networking event at Mersey Maritime in Birkenhead. He worked in the Royal Air Force for 31 years as a logistic manager helping manage logistics and transport hubs in the UK and around the world.

Towards the end of his time in the RAF he was also a manager in the continuous improvement team responsible for training and ongoing development at RAF bases.

Now, via MAS, he delivers continuous improvement programmes for automotive clients such as Jaguar Land Rover and BMW. He has also worked with toymaker LEGO in Denmark.

Valuable skills

And it is through a programme called Mettle that he wants to offer a link between industry and former service personnel who are keen to offer their transferrable skills to companies of all descriptions.

“Ex-service people have an inherent skill set but don’t always have the specific skills and qualifications they need to work on civvy street,” he told fellow members at the Face2Face.

“In many cases they possess hugely valuable skills – they are leaders, managers problem-solvers. We are going to be asking members at Mersey Maritime to offer people opportunities or work experience and help us upskill people.”

Global businesses

Also speaking at the Face-2-Face was Debbie Simpkins from InXpress and Neil McNeil from Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement.

InXpress is a global franchise operation specialising in shipping and logistics. It works with major carriers such as DHL, with which it has a partnership, and UPS and FedEx, to transport items of all shapes and sizes via air, sea and road.

Local customers include Everton Football Club and Royal HaskoningDHV, also a member of Mersey Maritime. Debbie said: “We ship goods across the globe and we operate from 90 franchise offices in the UK.”

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement is a family-owned German company with a history stretching back 150 years. Neil oversees both the Isle of Man and Newcastle offices with a combined workforce of 100 people.

The company is multifaceted global maritime services business. It owns or co-owns around 90 commercial vessels, including 50 container ships and offers many other services including global supply and movement of crew, as well as training, shipbuilding and conversion, hospitality, insurance and recycling.

Mersey Maritime backs drive to strengthen links with Europe, despite Brexit
Mersey Maritime announces finalists for 5th Annual Industry Awards
We achieved great things in 2018 – with 2019 set to be even better!
Mersey Maritime Launches 5th Annual Industry Awards
Steve Rotheram updates Mersey Maritime Members of his ‘ambitious plans’ for the Region
Mersey Maritime chief says Merseyside will benefit from new ‘golden era’ of trade with the US
International Trade Day – Trade Mission of British Maritime Leaders arrive in New York
Ex-forces personnel can fill the maritime skills gap, says Mersey Maritime CEO
Exporting boosts productivity, delegates at trade event are told
Mersey Maritime takes the lead in national Women in Maritime campagin
Merseyside takes the lead plan to build huge floating wind farm in the Atlantic
Former service people can fill the skills gap, says leading consultant