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

By Annette Parker




The Mersey Maritime team is taking advantage of these relatively quiet few weeks in August to put together a dynamic events programme for the next six months. So far, the programme includes London International Shipping Week events, some dynamite Face-2-Face presenters (think DONG Energy, Associated British Ports, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, Peel Ports…); an R&D, Innovation and Tax event; something on Cyber Security and more in our series of One-on-One meetings with prominent business leaders. While we send details out by email almost every week you can always see an at-a-glance summary on our website events page – bookmark it and keep going back as we start to more information in. In the meantime, here’s the latest news round up for the maritime sector here in the Liverpool city region.



Port of Liverpool owner Peel Ports Group has begun phase 2 of its expansion programme at Liverpool2, the port’s £400m deepwater container terminal. This second phase includes the  installation of three ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and ten cantilever rail mounted gantry cranes (CRMG) to add to the  five STS cranes and 12 CRMG cranes installed as part of phase one, which opened in November 2016.  Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports, said: “This is an important step in the development of Liverpool2 and reflects our confidence and our long-term commitment to positioning the North of England as a competitive route to international markets and a major port for global trade. The development of the project programme is now well underway. We are currently preparing the outline designs and would look to be in a position to appoint construction partners in spring of next year, with a view to commencement of construction shortly after. We anticipate a completion date for phase two in 2019.”


Three years since its previous OFSTED inspection in 2014, The Engineering College in Birkenhead has maintained its status as a Grade 2 training provider. Chief Executive of The Engineering College, Terry Weston, said: “This inspection has been one of the most challenging inspections that the college has seen since I have been here. Retaining the Grade 2 means that we can continue to work with our students and clients to ensure that employer needs are met and our students become well developed and quality engineers in industry, following their programme.” The OFSTED inspection revealed that the large majority of current trainees at The Engineering College make good progress on their qualifications and almost two thirds progress onto advanced apprenticeship programmes in engineering, after completing their traineeship programme.  More on this story here.


UK-headquartered Bibby Marine Services has signed a contract with Total E&P Netherland to charter the new Damen designed and built ‘Walk to Work’(W2W) Service Operation Vessel ‘Bibby WaveMaster1’ from April 2018 through to October 2018 with options to extend up to three years. Total will use Bibby WaveMaster 1 to replace jack ups and helicopters, providing W2W access to gas platforms in the southern North Sea as part of a conscious decision to transfer innovation and efficiencies developed for the Offshore Wind market into the Oil & Gas market. The vessel will provide accommodation for up to 90 people including crew.


Liverpool diesel-engine sales and maintenance specialists James Troop & Co is celebrating its landmark 150th anniversary with a surge in new business and export sales. The family-run company based in Runcorn, one of Liverpool’s longest-standing maritime and industrial businesses, is reporting a 27% sales hike on last year’s figures between January to June.  Company chairman Bob Troop, who is the great, great grandson of founder James Troop, said growth has been driven by specialist projects in the USA, expansion within the UK windfarm sector and new contracts with major ship management companies.  Mr Troop recently appointed new joint managing directors Derek Bate and Robert Pollock, who have amassed more than 60 years at the firm. Full press release here.


Liverpool’s £15m Sensor City project in Liverpool city centre, has secured its first tenant. The facility, a joint venture between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, focuses on the ‘internet of things’ or the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, using sensor technology in industrial and domestic processes to record, store and send real-time information via the web. Dr Joanne Phoenix, business development manager at Sensor City, said: “The practical completion of Sensor City is an exciting milestone, as it allows us to finally open our doors to organisations that are looking to bring their ground-breaking sensor technology ideas to market.” Sensor City will help to promote UK sensor technology globally by offering technical expertise, specialist equipment, business support and an international platform for collaboration to SMEs and entrepreneurs, helping them to create prototypes and bring them to market.


Wirral shipyard Cammell Laird anticipates the creation of up to 1,000 jobs in the next five years if work takes off at its newly opened Nuclear AMRC (Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre). The new facility in Birkenhead, which opened in July, aims to develop new ways of building nuclear power stations more efficiently. The development could see component parts built at Cammell Laird before completed modules are moved to power stations for installation, with individual modules weighing up to 5,000 tonnes each. Jonathan Brown, managing director of Cammell Laird’s energy division, said: “The nuclear new build programme estimates a potential spend up to £100bn over 30 years. It is therefore imperative that as an industry we make the programme work from a cost and schedule perspective, stripping out waste and any unnecessary expense. Building modules off-site is one way to make the new build process much more efficient, cost effective and less risky for our investors.” More on this story here:


Essar Oil (UK) Limited, which owns and operates the Stanlow Refinery at Ellesmere Port, has confirmed a new agreement with Etihad Airways for the direct supply of aviation fuel at Manchester Airport. The deal strengthens Essar’s aviation proposition in the UK, with the company now having direct jet fuel supply agreements in place with major airlines operating out of Manchester, Heathrow and Leeds Bradford airports. Essar Stanlow produces 16% of the UK’s road transport fuel demand and manufactures over 2bn litres of jet fuel each year, playing a key role in the country’s aviation industry. The Etihad agreement is the latest development in Essar Oil UK’s strategy of downstream integration, which has also seen a successful entry into the UK fuel retail market with the opening of 33 Essar branded service stations to date.


Marine propulsion specialists Stone Marine Shipcare, part of the Stone Marine Group, has signed a service agency agreement with Drydocks World in Dubai, the largest shipyard facility in Middle East Asia. The agreement sees Drydocks World permanently host one of Stone Marine’s innovative Mobile Workshops in Dubai, from where  Stone Marine’s services can also be mobilised quickly to other locations in the region whenever a ship propeller is in need of repair. Stone Marine Shipcare engineers are now training their counterparts at Drydocks World in use of the equipment so that technicians from both organisations can carry out repair and maintenance work. SMS MD Don Quilliam is delighted with the new relationship, saying: “With over 300 vessels docking at Drydocks World each year we are confident this will be a strong partnership, further enhancing the excellent service and facilities offered by Drydocks World with an unrivalled propeller repair and modification service.” Pictures and full story here:


Merseyside maritime company Wren Industrial & Marine Fabrications has been bought by Merseyside entrepreneur Jonathan Willoughby. Bootle-based Wren Industrial has been run for 27 years by husband and wife team David and Helen Wren, specialising in manufacturing doors, windows and hatches for ships and boats as well as welding and fabrication services primarily in the maritime sector. Wren’s clients include the Royal Navy, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and ferry operators Stena and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.  Mr Willoughby, who also runs welding and fabrication company Yorkwall Engineering in Ellesmere Port, said the time was right to take Wren Industrial to the next level, aiming to double its £1million turnover in the next 12 months. “Wren has a really strong reputation in the maritime industry […] for the quality of its work and its dedication to customer service,” he said. “My aim is to now build on that bedrock and grow Wren’s client base and brand nationally and internationally. More on this story here.


Those of you who attended Mersey Maritime’s Industry Awards dinner in March helped us raise funds towards a new seafarers support hub in Eastham, run by CEO John Wilson and his excellent team at Liverpool Seafarers Centre. The Hub has very quickly proved its worth, featuring in international news as the story of a group of stranded sailors unfolded over three disturbing weeks in July. Sterling work undertaken by all involved – you can read the full story here.


Membership of Mersey Maritime is growing as we continue to welcome new businesses on board.  Among these is our newest sponsor, Fort Recruitment, whose owners Ian Buckley and Kate Birmingham have stepped up their membership with us from Executive Club level.  Also since June, we have welcomed two new Executive Club members: Financial solutions provider Bathgate Business Finance and global logistics provider Denholm Logistics. At standard level we have added Wren Industrial & Marine Fabrications, civil engineering company D Morgan, distance learning provider UniCourse, industrial valve manufacturer Heap & Parthers and business consultancy Morgan Beaumont. Details about membership of Mersey Maritime are available on our website.



Date: 14 September 2017

Time: 09:30 – 16:00

Location: Sensor City, Russell Street, Liverpool L3 5LT

This one day event, organised by Sensor City’s Satellite Systems Catapult team, will include speakers on subjects ranging from Space in the UK (an overview of the readily transforming commercial space landscape), a look at EO (Earth Observation), satellite comms and positioning capabilities, a panel session, information on the Knowledge Exchange Programme and an overview of Sensor City’s Catapult Programme, explaining how businesses can engage with it. Registration details will be announced shortly or contact business development manager Dr Joanne Phoenix of Sensor City:


MARLAN MARITIME WINS MERSEYSIDE INNOVATION AWARD 2017 Marlan Maritime Technologies, a maritime sector SME from Liverpool, has triumphed at this year’s prestigious Merseyside Innovation Awards with a system that records weather conditions, tidal movements and vessel traffic to create bespoke solutions for efficient offshore monitoring. The system helps ports and harbours, coastal surveillance and offshore asset protection to achieve safety, security and efficiency: it can be used by shipping businesses, engineers and scientists. As winner of the award, Marlan Maritime received a cheque for £10,000. Alex Sinclair, MD at Marlan Maritime, said: “I’m blown away to have won this award. As a new company, the prize fund will be invested in obtaining expert advice from industry leaders as we feel that before we can exploit international markets, we must first use the knowledge that is right here in Liverpool.

LEK LUBRICATION’S ALEXIS LAY APPOINTED NATIONAL VC OF THE FSB Congratulations to Alexis Lay of Merseyside family-run firm LEK Lubrication Engineering, on her appointment as national vice chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Alexis has enjoyed a long and successful association with FSB, having held several roles including Branch Chair and National Councillor and Conference Coordinator since joining in 1991. As a director of LEK Lubrication Engineering, Alexis has helped build up a successful business which supplies, fits, services and repairs lubrication systems for all types of industries, including maritime.


STAYBRIDGE SUITES, LIVERPOOL We are pleased to be able to pass on a special members’ discount of 15% on overnight or extended stays to member businesses of Mersey Maritime, along with an open invitation from the Staybridge team to the newly refurbished hotel’s regular evening socials. The discount is valid until December 2018, using the special booking code included in the website members’ directory  under Staybridge Suites Liverpool.  Weekly socials are held every Mon, Tues & Weds from 6.30 – 7.30pm, with complimentary drinks and snacks – all welcome. Details on Staybridge Suites Liverpool are here:


By Annette Parker


Trade representative body Mersey Maritime has praised the power of partnership as an agreement was signed at its Birkenhead headquarters yesterday (14 June) to develop a brand new maritime and offshore training facility in the UK’s North West.

Investment for the major new training facility was officially agreed this week, following months of discussions in which Mersey Maritime played a vital role.

The cluster organisation for the maritime sector in the North West has been instrumental in initiating discussions and lining up potential partners from across the region’s public and private sectors to secure the business connections and support needed to bring Glasgow-based Stream Marine Training to Merseyside.

Stream Marine confirmed their commitment to establishing a major maritime and offshore training centre in Wirral by signing an agreement with Wirral Council that will see them invest up to £1.5m in new facilities at Tower Quays and a new fire training ground along Duke Street, Birkenhead. The investment could also have a significant broader economic impact, with the potential of up to 5,000 additional bed nights being booked in Wirral each year.

Using the Wirral Waters Investment Fund, Wirral Council has put together a compelling package of support as part of a strategy to strengthen the Maritime and low carbon sectors on the Wirral peninsula. The opening of the new facility within the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone is set to create up to 25 new jobs.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chief Executive Officer of Mersey Maritime, said: “The signing of the agreement this week between Stream Marine Training and Wirral Council is the culmination of many months of hard work behind the scenes. Mersey Maritime initiated this and has been at the heart of the discussions during that time as part of our agenda to drive forward inward investment and help create the right conditions for business growth.

“Stream Marine’s decision to set up its first base outside of Scotland in Wirral is a mark of confidence in the region and the opportunities available to ambitious business owners looking to expand. This type of investment is perfectly aligned with Mersey Maritime’s vision for the cluster, promoting growth, innovation and new jobs.”

The support Mersey Maritime has provided to Stream Marine Training has been facilitated through its business support programme New Markets 2 (NM2). The cluster organisation is one of 11 organisations in the Liverpool city region delivering support to fast-growth small and medium-sized businesses via the NM2 project, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and is the first to successfully attract inward investment as a result of the support it has delivered to SMT.

George Davies, Deputy Leader of Wirral Council, said: “It was only Monday this week when we announced our ambition to create thousands of jobs in Wirral through a £1 billion regeneration programme. It’s fantastic that, just a few days later, we are already talking about new businesses opening their doors in the borough – it’s a sign of confidence in Wirral, and it’s great news for residents.

“Maritime businesses such as Stream Marine Training are exactly the type of company we are trying to attract to Wirral – fast growing, ambitious and able to invest in the area and create jobs and I am delighted to be able to welcome SMT to Wirral. On behalf of the council I pledge to do all we can to continue to support them.’

The nearest offshore facility currently is in Lancashire and is heavily oversubscribed, so the catchment potential for Stream Marine Training is considerable. Chief executive Martin White is confident there is a real demand that can be served from the Liverpool area.

He said: “The range of support available to maritime businesses moving to the Liverpool city region is outstanding. We have been welcomed with open arms and are excited to be setting up our new operation here in Wirral. I’m immensely grateful to Wirral Council, Mersey Maritime and Peel Land & Property for their work in getting us to this point and look forward to being part of this regional success story.”

Paula Basnett, CEO at Wirral Chamber said: “It is great news, but just the start of our journey with SMT. They do already have relationships with major companies who have committed to using Wirral facilities when they open. We are now working closely with them to ensure they are fully aware of the quality of our other local suppliers as they operationalise.”


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Image shows: Cllr George Davies, Deputy Leader, Wirral Council (left) with Stream Marine CEO Martin White 



By Annette Parker


Mersey Maritime is hailing the success of its first 12 months since moving into the Maritime Knowledge Hub.

The trade representative body for the maritime and related industry sectors across the Liverpool city region set up its office within the newly opened Maritime Knowledge Hub in Birkenhead, Wirral, in June 2016, and has seen an increasingly busy stream of visitors pass through its doors.

Mersey Maritime Chief Executive Chris Shirling-Rooke said the pace of activity within the Hub had already far exceeded first year predictions, and bore out a real demand for the facility.

He said: “Moving into our own premises was always the aim. We knew from consultation with our 200 plus members and public sector partners that demand for a central resource of this type was definitely there, but what we didn’t predict was how much of a catalyst for growth it would turn out to be.

“The Hub provides a very visual representation of who we are and the work we’ve been doing for the past 14 years. It has allowed us to expand the range of services Mersey Maritime offers to the sector and have the space to make them happen. Since January alone, we’ve organised over 41 business events and seen almost 2000 people come through our doors, which has more than doubled what we were doing the previous year.

“We are also supporting fast growth small and medium sized [SME] businesses by providing office space and tailored business support, all of which is contributing towards making our sector great again. By anyone’s standards I think that can be measured as success.”

He added: “What’s really interesting is how the maritime industry has responded. Mersey Maritime is and always will be industry-focused, which means that everything we do is directed towards sectoral growth and the creation of jobs. The businesses we work with recognise and respond to that. They see Mersey Maritime as the facilitator, the vehicle that brings our sector’s many disparate elements together and gives them a single voice, with the Maritime Knowledge Hub as the embodiment of that vision.”

Located directly on the busy A41 leading in and out of Liverpool city centre via the Birkenhead Tunnel, the Maritime Knowledge Hub is a collaboration between Mersey Maritime and partners including Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and Wirral Council. It provides a central resource to the maritime industry and related sectors such as energy, manufacturing and offshore oil and gas, for knowledge sharing, research and innovation, training and skills.

World leading simulator-based training suites housed on the top floor of the Knowledge Hub are complemented by a busy programme of business network forums, high-level meetings and workshops designed to engage industry and help build strong local supply chains.

Mersey Maritime signed a partnership agreement LJMU in 2015, which marked an important step forward in Mersey Maritime’s evolution,

“The LJMU partnership and our joint occupation of the Maritime Knowledge Hub has brought industry and academia together in a way that directly benefits the sector in and around Liverpool. Employers recognise the need to upskill the workforce and to recruit the best young minds into the maritime sector so that we can continue to promote Liverpool as world class centre of excellence.

“Our role at Mersey Maritime is to acts as a conduit between these two helping to drive the innovation agenda forward from an academic perspective and, from the employers’ perspective ensuring it has direct relevance and application to ground level operations.

“The Liverpool cluster is upheld as a benchmark for good practice in clustering. We are proud to be one of the strongest and most successful maritime clusters in Europe,” added Mr Shirling-Rooke.


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Image shows: Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chief Executive, Mersey Maritime.



By Annette Parker



As always, Liverpool’s maritime sector is buzzing with news: our job is to bring you the full breadth and flavour but distilled down into a tea-break sized portion. Here’s the latest compilation for you to sit back and peruse. We’ll start with a quick mention of an info session we’ll be holding straight after next Tuesday’s Face-2-Face meeting (6 June) – if your business is an SME and you think you might be eligible for funded business support, read on….

Mersey Maritime is currently running a business support programme for fast-growing SMEs and has capacity to sign a small number of additional SMEs up to the programme. We know for a fact that around 85 per cent of businesses in the Merseyside cluster fit the basic SME definition, i.e. they have a registered business address in the Liverpool city region, employ fewer than 250 staff and have an annual turnover of under €50million. If your business can also demonstrate an average of 20 per cent growth across the past three years and could use support for innovation and/or to bring new products or services to market, please get in touch. The New Markets 2 programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and matched by Mersey Maritime, so is available at no financial cost to your business. Please email for more details.


The Burbo Bank Extension wind farm – developed by Denmark’s DONG Energy – has been officially launched. Located directly alongside the original Burbo Bank wind farm in Liverpool Bay, the Extension, launched on 17 May, is the first offshore wind farm to use MHI Vestas V164-8.0MW turbines, said to be the most powerful in the world. To provide a sense of size, the blades of each 195m tall turbine sweep an area bigger than the LFC pitch at Anfield. DONG is currently building an operations centre in Seacombe to serve both wind farms. The centre, which will open later this year, will provide 45 permanent jobs once it is fully operational.

Cammell Laird shipyard has announced the reaching of its nine-month milestone in the project to build the UK’s new polar research ship the RRS Sir David Attenborough. The ship, which is the biggest commercial shipbuilding project in Britain for 30 years, has been commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council, and it will be operated by British Antarctic Survey, transforming the UK’s polar research capability. Since August last year 1,800 tonnes of steel out of a total of 5,200 tonnes, has been fabricated to make the hull of the ship, which carries the Cammell Laird hull number 1,390 and is due to enter service in 2019. Important landmarks in the build so far include the testing and fitting of two Rolls-Royce drive propulsion motors weighing 115 tonnes, with a combined cost of £5million and the fitting of the ship’s two 15 tonne stern thrusters. Full details of the build and its equally famous remotely operated sub-sea vehicle (ROV), Boaty McBoatface can be read here.

Liverpool City Council has appointed engineering consultancy Ramboll to lead a highly skilled technical team in developing a new permanent Cruise Terminal Facility on the River Mersey. The team includes architects Stride Treglown, cost managers Gardiner & Theobald, global planning and property consultants JLL, and landscape architects Hyland Edgar Driver.  The team will initially work on a £50m detailed design proposal for the former Princes Jetty, off Princes Parade, which has been gifted to the city by Peel Land & Property. Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “Liverpool needs a new cruise facility so that we can provide the next generation of super liners and passengers with a world class welcome and a five star experience. Appointing Ramboll to lead this very experienced technical team is a key step in ensuring we develop a facility to the highest standards. A new cruise facility would also be a huge boost to our plans to regenerate the North Liverpool docklands and create thousands of new jobs.”
Last year Liverpool welcomed more than 60 vessels, with 120,000 passengers and crew.

Marlan Maritime Technologies has announced the launch of IRIS ONEbox, a cost-effective turnkey solution that allows ports of all sizes to access the right tools for enhancing safety, security and risk mitigation capabilities. At a cost of £30,000, port and harbour authorities can now implement an easy to use, low maintenance VTMS (Vessel Traffic Monitoring System) solution. The system includes a radar, camera, AIS, VTMS software, professional charts and an operator workstation. Marlan MD Alex Sinclair said: “We’ve been selling similar systems to this for a long-time and realised that a significant amount of cost is attributable to the semi-bespoke nature of VTMS projects. Through market research and ongoing discussions with our customers, we have identified a gap in the market for a feature rich, cost effective turnkey VTMS solution that gives peace of mind to small and medium sized ports and harbours, hence our IRIS ONEbox solution.”  Full details here.

Demolition and remediation experts Beech Group is to take ownership of serviced office block The Foundry in Birkenhead, renting out the space in excess of its own requirements to tenants on a commercial basis. Single offices range from 12 to 20.5 sq.m. and can be combined into suites, with rental from £70/week inclusive of council tax, electricity, gas, water and repairs. All offices have been re-carpeted and decorated. A mini warehouse on the Pool Street side of the building is also available, with a floor area of approx 50 sq.m. and mezzanine office above. All enquiries to Lilly McCue on:

Exis Technologies has announced the completion of updates to its IMDG Code e-learning courses to Amendment 38-16 of the IMDG Code. The e-learning courses, which were developed in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization to meet the challenge of efficiently and economically training very large numbers of shore side staff, are already used by 12 of the world’s top 20 container lines  Amendment 38-16 of the Code can be used voluntarily from 1 January 2017 and becomes mandatory on 1 January 2018. See  for a full list of courses, including Advanced and Refresher IMDG or contact Exis Tech marketing manager Melanie Stephenson for a free trial at:

Merseyside shipyard Cammell Laird will be the headline sponsor of this year’s UK’s Armed Forces Day (AFD), with celebrations taking place in Liverpool on 24 June – alongside the Mersey River Festival –  with more than 1,000 serving personnel, veterans, cadets and marching bands taking part in a parade followed by a full programme of events near the city’s iconic waterfront.  Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret CBE said: “Cammell Laird is immensely proud to be the principal sponsor of National Armed Forces Day this year on Merseyside, where we have been based for nearly 200 years.”  More details here.


And still they came….
This month we are delighted to welcome international classification society DNV GL to our Executive Club. We have also added two new members at Standard level: Cruise Media Services (Tony Storey) and Eddie Dybell’s  Marine & Engineering Technical Services (Tel: 0151 244 5402). Details about membership of Mersey Maritime are available on our website.


Sagarmala Project is a strategic initiative of the Government of India to modernise India’s ports so that port-led development can be augmented and coastlines developed to contribute to India’s growth. A survey has been launched to help Maritime UK (whose Board Mersey Maritime is represented  on), its members and the UK government, gain an understanding of both the existing UK engagement with the Sagarmala project, where the UK has the relevant capability and how the UK can and should respond to this significant opportunity. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey here:


The IMAREST 14th Annual Dinner & Dance
The Liverpool Harbourside Marina
Saturday 14 October 2017
The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology Annual Dinner and Dance will be held at the Liverpool Harbourside Marina on 14 Oct 2014,commencing with a reception at 6.30pm for Dinner at 7.30pm. Dancing will follow the meal and continue until midnight. Booking details from IMarEST Honorary Treasurer John Mace at

A quick summary of LR courses coming up in Liverpool this autumn. Bookings can be made now by clinking on the links.
Ballast Water Management – Oct 10, £475+VAT
Risk Management and Incident Investigation – Sept 5-7, £1,175+VAT
ISPS Company Security Officer (MCA Approved) – Dec 5-8, £1,295+VAT
Tanker Vetting and Inspection – Nov 7-8, £940+VAT
Ship New Construction – Nov 21-23, £1,175+VAT


Liverpool Cruise Terminal has appointed Peter Murney as Head of Cruise Operations, taking over from Angie Redhead, who, in her new role as Head of City Assets now oversees not only Cruise but St George’s Hall, Town Hall and Tourist Information. Pete joined Liverpool Cruise Terminal in 2013 following a 24 year career with the Royal Navy.

Complete Rope Access Solutions, part of Liverpool Health & Safety training company the Complete Group, has appointed Maurice Freeman as Project Manager. Maurice has worked within the Rope Access industry for 17 years specialising in construction, decommissioning, inspection, (vol-metric and surface methods). He can be contacted on

Capt John Lloyd has been appointed as CEO of The Nautical Institute, managing the resources of an organisation with 7,000 members and over 50 branches around the world.  Capt Lloyd said: “I am delighted to be leading the next phase of development at The Nautical Institute, at a time of great change for our industry. Now more than ever it is important that the Institute champions best practice and professionalism and promotes a culture of safety first.”


Congratulations to Essar Stanlow, which has marked reaching 7 million hours without a Lost Time Injury by making a £3000 donation to local charity Wirral Heart Beat. The refinery used its Let’s Give programme, which links safety milestones and charitable giving, to recognise the significant safety achievement.


Something a little different to finish as we flag up an opportunity for one aspiring adventurer to embark on an ocean-related journey with the help of a £5000 grant. The IMarEST Inspiring Journey Grant aims to evoke public interest in the oceans and seas by following the story of the grant winner via blog, vlog or written journal, social media channels and via a final report. To be in with a chance of securing the grant you need to come up with an idea for an original, exciting, and exceptional journey – that you will then need to undertake and report on. Deadline for initial proposals is 30 June. Full criteria at: The grant has been established in memory of David Henderson, who worked for the IMarEST from 2008 until his untimely death in 2016 at the age of 31, and his spirit as an adventurer with a boundless passion for exploring other places. So there you have it: age no barrier – just be brave, adventurous, inspired (….as in life generally).



By Annette Parker

Mersey Maritime hosts Maritime UK’s second board meeting outside London

Maritime UK is holding only its second ever board meeting outside of London today (Friday) in Liverpool at the home of Mersey Maritime – the representative body of the maritime sector in the North West.

Mersey Maritime joined the Board of Maritime UK last year and was the only cluster to be invited to the board meeting.

Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime Chris Shirling-Rooke now chairs the Maritime UK Cluster Group, a sub-committee of the main Board.

Talking about the visit, Mr Shirling-Rooke said: “It’s fantastic to be given the opportunity to host today’s Maritime UK board meeting. We welcomed the Board to Liverpool yesterday evening (Thursday) and have been showing them the regeneration that has been happening here in the city. We have also been able to offer our members the opportunity to meet and present their business ideas to the Chairman of Carnival UK, David Dingle.”

Board members from Maritime UK and key Mersey Maritime guests attended a drinks reception on Thursday evening followed by a private dinner hosted by financial planning and investment firm Tilney, prior to visiting Liverpool John Moores University and the University’s Ships Bridge and Engine Room Simulators this morning (Friday).

Key Mersey Maritime guests including Sir Michael Bibby, Vice-President of the Supervisory Board of the UK Chamber of Shipping, and Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, also attended the event.

Local SMEs were also give the chance to attend and meet with Chairman of Maritime UK and Carnival UK, giving them the opportunity to present their own business ideas to Mr Dingle.


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The pic shows L-R: Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chief Executive, Mersey Maritime; David Dingle CBE, Chairman of Maritime UK and Carnival UK; John Murray, Chief Executive, Society of Maritime Industries and Sir Michael Bibby Bt, Managing Director, Bibby Line Group and VP of the Supervisory Board of the UK Chamber of Shipping



By Annette Parker


Mersey Maritime, the representative body of the maritime cluster in the North West of England has raised almost £5000 for Liverpool Seafarers Centre (LSC) through its annual Industry Awards dinner.

Mersey Maritime presented John Wilson, Chief Executive Officer from the charity, with a cheque for £4687 at the After-Show Drinks Reception held for the winners of Mersey Maritime Industry Awards (MMIAs) 2017, following a charity raffle it held on the night.

The money raised went towards the outfitting of a new £40,000 centre, which will work in partnership with the charity’s headquarters at Colonsay House in Crosby to provide support to the 50,000 seafarers who pass through Merseyside’s ports each year.

The new centre is located at Queen Elizabeth II Dock in Ellesmere Port at the entrance to the Manchester Ship Canal and was officially opened on 19 April.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, said: “We were very happy to be able to hand over the money we raised at this year’s MMIAs to the Liverpool Seafarers Centre at our Drinks Reception. Our third MMIAs was a huge success – the best yet – and I would like to thank everyone who took part in the raffle we held on the night to enable to us to make this donation to John. The view over the River Mersey from the 14th floor of RSM’s offices, where we made the presentation, provided a stunning backdrop. We are also grateful to RSM for hosting the event.”

Welcoming the cheque, Mr Wilson said: “We were delighted to be Mersey Maritime’s chosen charity at this year’s Industry Awards dinner and are grateful to Mersey Maritime and its members for making this generous donation towards the new centre. The working life of a seafarer is a hard and, at times, dangerous one. Seafaring can be a lonely and isolating job and crew frequently do not have people to talk to. We provide that helping hand and ensure that the Port of Liverpool and the maritime industry on Merseyside maintain its reputation as a friendly caring port.”



About Liverpool Seafarers Centre

The Liverpool Seafarers Centre (LSC) is an ecumenical partnership between two well established Seafarer welfare organisations based in Liverpool, the Apostleship of the Sea (Liverpool) and The Mersey Mission to Seafarers founded in 1856. Whilst the face of the Seafarer has changed, the need has not: relief from loneliness, isolation and being away from home, family and friends for up to nine months. The services of the LSC remain in demand each and every day and as a registered charity, it is totally reliant upon voluntary donations, both of much essential funds and items such as woolly hats, warm clothing DVDs, CDs confectionery, toiletries, magazines.


Image shows Liverpool Seafarers Centre CEO John Wilson (left) receiving the cheque from Mersey Maritime Board Director Gary Hodgson of Peel Ports Group.

By Annette Parker


Maritime sector representative in the North West Mersey Maritime will host an innovative event connecting businesses to key decision makers to boost supply chain opportunities for SMEs – in a Dragons’ Den style format.

The two-hour Innovation event that is being held with Peel Ports Group, one of the UK’s largest port operators, is aimed at SMEs who feel they have a product, service or approach that can add value to the Peel Ports business.

The event, taking place at the Maritime Knowledge Hub on 29th March between 8.30am and 10.30am, is the first in a new programme of MiHub events that aims to cut through the cold-call process by bringing the right people together in an environment that can boost business opportunities.

Business with an offer that is of interest to the panel will be potentially fast-tracked onto the port operator’s supplier list, enabling them to compete for existing or future business.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, said: “One of our key aims has always been to increase supply chain opportunities for SMEs. We are really excited to be working with Peel Ports to offer eligible SMEs the opportunity to access senior decision makers at one of the largest port operators in the UK.

“This is the first event like this that we have held and we are expecting it to be an interesting and busy morning for SMEs and Peel Ports. This event avoids the painful process of cold-calling and allows our members to directly access business decision makers.”

Events like the Peel Ports panel are part of Mersey Maritime’s ‘MiHub’ programme, a series of regular events and workshops throughout the year that allow SMEs to learn about and benefit from regional supply chain opportunities. The MiHub programme is supported by the European Regional Development Fund’s New Markets 2 project, which Mersey Maritime is currently delivering to fast-growth SMEs.

The panel will comprise of Gary Hodgson, Chief Operating Officer, Peel Ports Group; David Huck, Port Director; Adam Green, Head of Procurement; Brad Crumbleholme, Head of Engineering.


By Annette Parker


Two leading maritime organisations have joined forces to stimulate growth in marine, ports and energy business in the North.

Mersey Maritime and Team Humber Marine Alliance, representative bodies for the maritime sector, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at collaborating and presenting a united front in the Northern Powerhouse initiative.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chief Executive Officer of Mersey Maritime said: “We are really excited to have signed this agreement with Team Humber Marine Alliance. THMA is an excellent organisation that has done a lot of good work in the marine and offshore sector in the Yorkshire and Humber region of the UK.

“Team Humber has the same vision as Mersey Maritime and by working together, sharing industry knowledge and best practices we hope to significantly increase activity and investment in the maritime industry across the two regions we represent.”

Mark O’Reilly, Chief Executive Officer of Team Humber Marine Alliance, said: “This agreement strengthens the offer of the North West and the Yorkshire and Humber regions. We are united in our mission to win more business for our members and our combined wealth of skills and capabilities are a force to be reckoned with.

“Both areas have made great strides with the transformational Liverpool2 and Greenport Hull investments and we want to capitalise on these opportunities, enhance the skills base and create sustainable jobs.”

It is expected that the initiative will encourage member companies to enter into joint ventures, catalyse innovation as well as increase access to funding and skills development.

The two organisations have been in talks since they were introduced in 2015 through a UK Northern Powerhouse trade mission visiting offshore wind regions and organisations in the USA. This initiative builds upon a growing relationship between the Humber and Mersey regions across academia, public sector and business.

The MOU was signed at the third Mersey Maritime Industry Awards (MMIAs) in the presence of: David Dingle, Chairman of Carnival (Cunard & P&O Cruises) and Chairman of Maritime UK; Jacqueline Foster Conservative MEP for the North West and Spokesman on Transport & Tourism; Anne O’Byrne, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool City Council; Phil Davies Leader of Wirral Council; John Hulmes, Chairman Mersey Maritime; Camilla Carlbom, Vice Chairman of Team Humber Marine Alliance & Carlbom Shipping; Chris Shirling-Rooke, CEO Mersey Maritime and Mark O’Reilly, CEO & Chairman, Team Humber Marine Alliance.


By Annette Parker


Mersey Maritime, the representative body for the maritime sector in the North West of England, is proud to announce the winners of this year’s Mersey Maritime Industry Awards (MMIAs).

The organisation, which represents the interests of a maritime cluster of more than 1,250 businesses, held its annual awards on Thursday evening (March 9) at a black tie gala dinner at Liverpool Football Club.

There were 12 winners on the night in categories ranging from Best Newcomer to Business of the Year Award. The winners are:

Best Newcomer (Sponsored by Brookes Bell Group)
WINNER: Complete Training Solutions

Rising Star (Sponsored by Liverpool John Moores University)
JOINT WINNERS: John-James Gallagher, Royal HaskoningDHV and  Lauren Kemp, Beech Group

Engineering Company of the Year (Sponsored by RSM UK)
WINNER: DT Engineering NW Ltd

Innovation Award (Sponsored by Peel Ports Group)
WINNER: Warrant Group Ltd

Freight & Logistics Award (Sponsored by Liverpool John Lennon Airport)
WINNER: 156 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps

Maritime Professional Services Award (Sponsored by Tilney)
WINNER: MDS Transmodal Ltd

Global Reach Award (Sponsored by NatWest)
WINNER: RS Clare & Co Ltd

Micro Business of the Year (Sponsored by the Manufacturing Technology Centre)
WINNER: LEK Lubrication Systems

Positive Impact (Sponsored by Glenville Walker & Partners)
WINNER: Liverpool Cruise Terminal

The Jim Teasdale Award for Maritime Ambassador (Sponsored by Beech Group)
WINNER: Ian Higby, Managing Director, Atlantic Container Line

SME of the Year (Sponsored by James Fisher Marine Services)
WINNER: Eldapoint Ltd

Business of the Year (Sponsored by Stream Marine Training)
Seatruck Ferries

The judges’ award for Maritime Ambassador is decided each year by an independent judging panel, which was unanimous in choosing Ian Higby, Managing Director of Atlantic Container Line (UK) as its 2017 winner.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, said: “Our third event has exceeded all expectations we had when we started organising this event more than three years ago. Each year we have built on the success of the previous year and this year’s event was no different. We had greater demand for tables, more award categories and more entries than ever before.

“We heard about some of the truly excellent businesses based here in the North West and this event is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the sheer diversity of their expertise and achievements. Our key message for 2017 is ‘Liverpool is Back’ and we certainly proved that on Thursday evening. We were also very honoured to hold the event at Liverpool Football Club, which provided a stunning backdrop for our maritime awards”

Key guests within the maritime sector included Bernhard Friess, Director of the European Commission and David Dingle, Chairman of Maritime UK. Jacqueline Foster, MEP for the North West, was as a guest speaker on the night.

The MMIAs was sponsored by Beech Group, Liverpool John Moores University, Peel Ports Group and Stream Marine Training. Hill Dickinson LLP sponsored the pre-dinner drinks reception.


By Annette Parker


The finalists of the 2017 Mersey Maritime Industry Awards (MMIAs) have been announced.

The winners will be revealed at a prestigious black tie dinner that will have a Ministerial presence and promises to bring together the best of the maritime industry right across the Maritime, Logistics and Energy spectrum in the region.

The MMIAs are organised by sector representative body Mersey Maritime and the Awards recognise the excellence and diversity that exists across all sectors of the maritime industry in the North West.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chief Executive, Mersey Maritime, said: “The number and quality of entries for the 2017 MMIAs has risen for the third consecutive year, which will make for an exciting awards evening when the winners are announced on 9th March. The response from companies operating in the maritime and related industries  here in the UK’s North West proves without doubt that ‘Liverpool is back’- the theme we have chosen for this year’s awards.“

He added: “This year we have moved the MMIAs to Liverpool Football Club, a much larger venue with a view out towards Liverpool2 – the new deep-water container terminal at the Port of Liverpool – to try and meet demand but we are still running a waiting list for places. It’s a measure of the sector’s confidence that we are once again at absolute capacity for this eagerly anticipated annual event.”

The finalists are:

Best Newcomer Award (Sponsored by Brookes Bell Group)
– Complete Training Solutions
– Fort Recruitment
– MAS Consultants

Rising Star Award  (Sponsored by Liverpool John Moores University)
– John-James Gallagher, Royal HaskoningDHV
– Lauren Kemp, Beech Group
– Matt Costello, James Fisher Marine Services

Engineering Company of the Year Award (Sponsored by RSM UK)
– DT Engineering NW Ltd
– Heap & Partners

Innovation Award (Sponsored by Peel Ports Group)
– Geo Data Systems Ltd
– Immersive Interactive
– Warrant Group

Freight and Logistics Award (Sponsored by Liverpool John Lennon Airport)
– 156 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps
– MDS Transmodal
– Quality Freight Group

Maritime Professional Services Award (Sponsored by Tilney)
– DGB Solicitors
– MDS Transmodal
– Hill Dickinson LLP

Global Reach Award (Sponsored by NatWest)
– Knowles
– Royal HaskoningDHV
– RS Clare

Micro Business of the Year (Sponsored by the Manufacturing Technology Centre)
– Immersive Interactive
– LEK Lubrication
– PJ Environmental

Positive Impact Award (Sponsored by Glenville Walker & Partners)
– Liverpool Cruise Terminal
– Liverpool John Lennon Airport
– Liverpool Seafarers Centre

The Jim Teasdale Award for Maritime Ambassador (Sponsored by Beech Group)
A judges’ award will be announced on the night.

SME of the Year  (Sponsored by James Fisher Marine Services)
– Beech Group
– Eldapoint
– Complete Training Solutions

Business of the Year   (Sponsored by Stream Marine Training)
– Peel Ports Group
– Royal HaskoningDHV
– Seatruck Ferries

There will be a ‘Meet The Finalists’ reception for the judges and the nominees on Thursday 9th February.

The winners will be announced at a black tie Awards Dinner four weeks later on 9th March at Liverpool Football Club.
Diamond sponsors of the event are Beech Group, Liverpool John Moores University, Peel Ports Group and Stream Marine Training.


By Annette Parker


The judging panel in this year’s Mersey Maritime Industry Awards (MMIAs) has got its work cut out as it looks to select three worthy finalists for its Rising Star award.

Sector representative body Mersey Maritime set up the MMIAs as a brand new event in 2014, seeing a real appetite from its members to celebrate the excellence, dynamism and diversity that exists across the Maritime Sector in the UK’s North West. The Rising Star category wasn’t introduced until the second year. It came about in response to feedback from employers keen to reward the younger members of their workforce whose fresh approach and achievements they see as the key to future success.

Mersey Maritime CEO Chris Shirling-Rooke said: “The Maritime Sector in the North West has seen massive investment in recent years and serves to remind young people how exciting a career in the Maritime Sector can be. That success is visible and was palpable in events towards the end of 2016 such as the opening of Peel’s £400m deep-water container terminal at the Port of Liverpool, worldwide coverage of Cammell Laird’s keel-laying ceremony for the £200m polar research ship the Sir David Attenborough and the christening by HRH The Princess Royal of Atlantic Container Line’s new CONRO vessel Atlantic Sea.

“Entries for Rising Star this year reflect the stellar quality of the younger generation now starting to come through. These young people are making an active choice to work in the Maritime Sector; they are taking the industry forward, injecting new ideas and helping bring about change that will help our industry to stay competitive.”

As part of the judging process all candidates attend a personal interview, hosted this year at the Liverpool office of maritime law firm Hill Dickinson. MMIA judge Gary Hodgson, Chief Operating Officer, Peel Ports Group, said he had been impressed from day one by the candidates he had met. He said: “I have been a member of the judging panel for all three years of the MMIAs to date and the Rising Star interviews are without doubt the most rewarding part. My role as a judge in this category reflects Peel Ports’ own commitment as an employer to attracting and training young people into rewarding careers in the sector. ”

Fellow judge Prof Ian Jenkinson, Head of Maritime and Mechanical Engineering at Liverpool John Moores University said the maritime industry, like other industry sectors, faces a skills gap which is limiting productivity and competitiveness. He said: “Liverpool John Moores University is working with Mersey Maritime and other partners to develop new qualification and skills pathways that meet the needs of industry in the next 10, 20, 30 years. This year’s Rising Star candidates represent the foundation of a dynamic, highly skilled workforce of the future.”

Candidates for the MMIA Rising Star award in 2017 represent a wide range of companies including James Fisher Marine Services, Royal HaskoningDHV, James Troop & Co and The Engineering College. A complete list of finalists across all 11 award categories is due to be announced on 31 January, with winners announced at a black tie gala dinner held at Liverpool Football Club on 9 March 2017.

By Annette Parker


We’ve given you a couple of weeks to feel your way gently into 2017 and we hope your year has got off to a good start. Here at Mersey Maritime, we’re already planning events as far ahead as July, so do keep an eye out for notifications in your inbox.  Keep the good news coming and we look forward to catching up with you as the year progresses.


Mersey Maritime is looking to recruit a full-time Business Development Manager to join the team at the Maritime Knowledge Hub. The post is supported by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the New Markets 2 programme. Closing date for applications is 31 January – full details here.


Confectionery manufacturer Tangerine has awarded a £ multi-million contract to Liverpool headquartered Bibby Distribution to handle its warehousing and distribution of sweet brands including everyone’s childhood favourites Butterkist, Blackjacks, Sherbet Fountains and Refreshers.

RSM UK has merged with the firm’s Northern Ireland practice, PACEC Ltd, in a deal that will add 70 staff to an almost 4,000-strong workforce. David Gwilliam, chief operating officer at RSM UK, said the merger offered a “fantastic opportunity” to grow RSM’s services in Northern Ireland and expand the company’s consulting business in the UK.

The Liverpool office of shipping line CMA CGM has posted details of a number of posts it is recruiting for on the Mersey Maritime website, including Logistics Business Development Manager and Import Customer Care Advisor. Deadlines for some posts have already gone but click here for details.

Managing cash flow is one of the biggest headaches for SMEs, so services that can help with this – such as the supply chain payments platform provided by Mersey Maritime member URICA – can make a huge difference. A Lloyds Bank report in Oct 2016 showed the average value of outstanding invoices for businesses in the North West topping £100,000 and 33% of firms cited late payments as the biggest cause of cashflow problems. With that in mind we’d like to point you towards SCFi, the new Supply Chain Funding index from URICA in conjunction with YouGov.  SCFi measures the condition of the supply chain, based on perceptions of how strong the chain is and the stresses on invoice payments, from people who really know: UK business owners. So, for the first time, it is possible to get a tangible feel for the health and efficiency of supply chains and how slow payments affects suppliers in the chain. You can download the report here. For SMEs who find the report echoes their own experiences and challenges and who would like to know more about how URICA could help, please contact dedicated expert Tina Lobondi, the principal point of contact at URICA for Mersey Maritime members: /0207 193 7616.

2017 is a transition year for Amendments to the IMDG Code (which relates to the movement of Dangerous Goods) by the International Maritime Organization, whereby Amendment 38-16 can already be used voluntarily from 1 Jan 2017 and will become mandatory on 1 Jan 2018. Mersey Maritime member Exis Technologies has produced a helpful document that gives an overview of the key changes available here.

Congtratulations to John Percival Marine Associates, which marks its 20th year in the superyacht industry in 2017.  JPMA was formed by Hoylake Sailing School principal Capt John Percival, whom many of you will remember, to deal solely with the superyacht sector: the business has since grown to  provide Deck & Engineering training across a wide range of industries including workboats and Merchant Navy. In celebration of their anniversary, JPMA will be running monthly competitions and offers starting with a January ‘Who’s Who?’ competition.  Click here to take part before the 31 January deadline.


The Merseyside Innovation Awards (MIA) recognise and reward companies and individuals in Merseyside who use creativity to fuel growth and profitability. As one of a group of local sponsoring organisations, NatWest is keen to encourage applications from innovative businesses/individuals in the Maritime and related sectors, whose great ideas have the potential to contribute towards the region’s economic development. Any Merseyside based individual or company with turnover below £25m with an innovative product or service is eligible to enter. Apply online at or contact for more information. Deadline for entries is 30 March 2017.

Extra ferry services have been laid on by Merseytravel between Liverpool and Wirral from now into February during essential maintenance work to the Wirral loop line. Two additional commuter ferries are currently operating from Liverpool Pier Head at 4pm and 4.40pm, Monday to Friday until Feb 12th. All Wirral Line trains will start and finish at Birkenhead North and Birkenhead Central stations during this period. Click here to see all changes.

Almost 5m passengers travelled through Liverpool John Lennon Airport last year – an 11% increase on 2015. Riding on the crest of this positive wave, 2017 will see a host of new routes launched from Liverpool, including to Marrakesh and Sofia. LJLA chief executive Andrew Cornish said: “2016 was a great year for the airport and our busiest in recent years. A successful LJLA creates more job opportunities both on-site and indirectly across the region, as well as helping to attract more inward investment and boosting the region’s visitor economy.”


Date 23 Feb 2017
Venue Merseyside Maritime Museum
This dinner marks the start of leading maritime charity Seafarers UK’s Centenary Year and will include a drinks reception and three-course dinner, with music by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, speeches and a special auction. Former Deputy Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Lord Prescott is the after-dinner speaker and event sponsors are Peel Ports Group and Propeller Club Liverpool. See for details/booking.


Cammell Laird has ramped up its operations in the energy sector with the appointment of a new divisional managing director, Jonathan Brown. Mr Brown joins Cammell Laird from Rolls Royce where he led its nuclear new build and projects group. Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret CBE said Mr Brown would be charged with expanding the company’s drive to grow across nuclear, renewables and the oil and gas markets. “Cammell Laird has a long-term plan to diversify into the energy markets and we are pleased that Jonathan has joined us to help spearhead our operations,” he said.  “Our aim is to become one of the prime contractors in Britain serving the energy industry. The programme to build 10 new nuclear power plants around the UK is a £100bn opportunity with decades of work. It is an excellent fit for our workforce, which has transferable skills, and our extensive engineering facilities.”
(NB. Linton Roberts remains managing director of Cammell Laird.)

Mersey Maritime hosts Maritime UK’s second board meeting outside London