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

By Mersey Maritime


The deadline for the Mersey Maritime awards has now passed and businesses connected to the maritime industry in the North West and Isle of Man were encouraged to get their entries in by the 7th January 2016 deadline.   Read more

By Mersey Maritime

Chris Shirling-Rooke Appointed as CEO for Mersey Maritime

Chris Shirling-Rooke has been confirmed as the new CEO for Mersey Maritime following the retirement of his predecessor, Jim Teasdale.

Mr Shirling-Rooke, who joined Mersey Maritime as Commercial Director in 2013, took on the role of Acting CEO 12 months ago and, during that time, has been instrumental in forming strategic partnerships with key Mersey Maritime members including Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), Dong Energy, the Peel Group and Seatruck to forge closer links with the education sector and maritime businesses in the Liverpool City Region.

The success of these ventures has culminated in a recent major announcement that the disused Grade II-listed Hydraulic Tower in Wirral’s docklands is to be transformed into a £30m ‘Maritime Knowledge Hub’, for advanced manufacturing and engineering skills, and business support.

The centre will provide the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to support the Northern Powerhouse agenda as well as new and niche activities that can bring together business and academia to bridge that gap, providing local firms and wider industry with the skilled staff they need to grow and compete.

“Jim was an inspirational leader for Mersey Maritime and I will continue the good work that he started,” said Mr Shirling-Rooke.

“It is certainly an exciting time to be taking over as chief executive at Mersey Maritime, and I would like to thank the Board for putting its trust in me. Mersey Maritime is the most successful cluster organisation of its kind in the UK, representing 1,700 maritime businesses and 200 paid up members, a number that is growing all the time.

Mr Shirling-Rooke continued: “The Liverpool City Region is once again firmly at the centre of the UK’s maritime industry. With Liverpool2, the new deep water container terminal at the Port of Liverpool, also due to come on stream in the next few months and the announcement by the Government this week of a £200m shipbuilding contract due to be placed with Cammell Laird, our region will be the most cost effective gateway to the heart of the UK; so there’s never been a better time to be part of this growing maritime cluster.”

Chairman of Mersey Maritime John Hulmes added: “The directors are delighted that Chris has accepted the position as chief executive of Mersey Maritime. Mersey Maritime is going through an exciting period of change to which Chris is already bringing tremendous energy and vision. I am looking forward to continuing to work closely with Chris in driving Mersey Maritime forward.”

By Mersey Maritime

Merseyside Beats Global Competition To Build £200 Million Polar Research Ship

• Major boost to shipbuilding and jobs in the North West
• Ship will strengthen UK leadership in climate and ocean research
• New research ship will operate in Antarctica and the Arctic

The Government has today (12 October) announced that Cammell Laird in Birkenhead has been selected as the preferred bidder to build a state-of-the-art £200 million polar research ship that will maintain the UK’s position firmly at the forefront of climate and ocean research.

The decision follows a 12-month competitive tender process that involved bids from companies in the UK, Europe and the Far East. The winning project will secure jobs and apprenticeships and provide a significant economic boost to Merseyside.

The shipyard is expected to cut steel in autumn 2016 and deliver the next generation polar research vessel ready for operation by 2019.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said:
“As a One Nation Government we are investing in science capital on a record scale. This £200 million investment secures the UK’s position as a world leader in polar research and provides a major boost to shipbuilding in the North West.

“Britain has long been a pioneer in ocean science, shipbuilding and manufacturing. Cammell Laird’s success in this competition is testament to this expertise and our commitment to continue pushing the boundaries in marine science.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:
“In last year’s Budget I committed £200 million to help put Britain at the forefront of polar research, and I’m delighted to see the preferred bidder is a UK company in the heart of our Northern Powerhouse.

“This will help secure vital jobs and apprenticeships in the North West and also make sure Britain stays at the cutting edge of polar research.”

Cammell Laird Chief Executive John Syvret said:
“The new contract, which will be finalised later this year, is expected to secure 400 jobs at Cammell Laird and a further 100 jobs within the local supply chain. Cammell Laird has a very successful apprenticeship scheme and would plan to recruit 60 apprentices throughout the term of the contract. Being selected as the preferred bidder in a global tender to undertake such an exciting and major infrastructure project is fantastic news for our workforce, the local region and the UK. We look forward to helping the UK explore the depths of the ocean and push the boundaries of UK science.”

The new polar research ship, which will operate in both Antarctica and the Arctic, will be able to endure up to 60 days in sea-ice to enable scientists to gather more observations and data.

The ship will be the first British-built polar research vessel with a heli-deck to open up new locations for science and will be one of the most sophisticated floating research laboratories operating in the Polar Regions.

Tonne for tonne, the UK will have the most advanced oceanographic research vessel fleet in the world.

Robotic submarines and marine gliders will collect data on ocean conditions and marine biology and deliver it to scientists working in the ship’s on-board laboratories.

Airborne robots and on-board environmental monitoring systems will provide detailed information on the surrounding polar environment.

Funding for the new polar research ship was announced in April 2014 as part of the Government’s science capital programme. Cammell Laird has been selected by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) through a full competitive procurement process.

NERC Chief Executive Professor Duncan Wingham said:
“This new research ship, which is expected to become operational in 2019, will be equipped with onboard laboratory facilities and will be capable of deploying robotic technologies to monitor environmental changes to the polar oceans and will help UK scientists continue to lead the world in understanding our polar regions.

“Changes in both the Antarctic and Artic marine ecosystems affect the UK’s environment and economy, particularly in industries such as fishing and tourism. The Natural Environment Research Council funds polar research so that as a nation, we can develop policies to adapt to, mitigate or live with environmental change.

“This new polar ship will be a platform for a broad range of science, researching subjects from oceanography and marine ecology to geophysics.”

The new vessel follows in a long line of Royal Research Ships, including the RRS Discovery which today (12 October) departs from London to Southampton after docking on the Thames to mark NERC’s 50th anniversary.

The new ship will be operated by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and will be available to the whole UK research community, including for postgraduate training.

Director of British Antarctic Survey Professor Jane Francis said:
“This new research ship will be a tremendous asset to the UK polar science community. Our science and operational teams have been working closely with research colleagues from Britain’s leading universities and institutes to help create a world-leading science facility. We very much look forward to seeing our ideas become a reality. Crucially, the ship will have the capability to deploy advanced technologies being developed currently in the UK. These will allow us to capture new ocean and ice data from places that would otherwise be inaccessible. This is a very exciting time for UK polar science.”

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Maritime CEO Retires

Jim Teasdale, CEO of Mersey Maritime, has announced his retirement after 11 year at the helm of the industry representative body.

His last day in the role will be Wednesday 30 September 2015.

Jim was a founder director of the Birkenhead based not-for-profit organisation, set up in 2003 to represent the interests of the Ports and Maritime Sector on Merseyside, by helping to create the right conditions for business growth.

He leaves Mersey Maritime in a healthy position, acting as a linchpin between the private and public sector.

Jim said: “It’s been an honour and privilege to be involved with Mersey Maritime, initially as a director and, since 2004, as CEO.

“From the very start we knew that we had set ourselves a lifetime commitment; to bring the interests of the sector on Merseyside together and speak on its behalf with one voice.”

He continued: “During my time as chief executive, we’ve made real and tangible progress, with the Liverpool cluster now recognised nationally and internationally as an example of best practice. I’d like to thank my Board of Directors for their commitment and unfailing support and the Mersey Maritime team, who have helped steer the organisation through occasionally choppy waters to where we stand now: on the brink of exciting new developments with a blueprint for the future in our hands.

“Our close association with Liverpool John Moores University and Peel Ports Group (owner-operators of the Port of Liverpool and the Manchester Ship Canal), and other leading businesses on our membership list including Atlantic Container Line, Bibby Line Group and Cammell Laird, means that we are in a unique position to help and support local maritime businesses and their supply chains, ensuring that the sector is recognised as a clear economic driver for the region,” said Jim.

“I’m stepping down into retirement confident that the future of Mersey Maritime is in good hands. Acting CEO Chris Shirling-Rooke has already taken up the mantle of leadership by continuing to promote and develop the strong alliances we have built with maritime businesses, training centres and universities across the UK and the EU to further the cause of our industry.”

Previously, Jim was CEO at the then Laird Foundation, a Centre of Vocational Excellence in Marine Engineering, now known as Maritime and Engineering College North West (MECNW).

He will continue to serve as a director on the boards of both Mersey Maritime and MECNW.

By Mersey Maritime

Maritime Knowledge Hub Video!


A disused Grade II Victorian building on the banks of the Mersey is set to receive a new lease of life as an education and collaboration campus for advanced manufacturing and engineering skills. The historic Hydraulic Tower building, which once used to drive the lock gates and bridges in the Birkenhead Docks, is the centrepiece of a new project that aims to provide the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to support the Northern Powerhouse agenda.

The private and public sector consortium behind the initiative, including Mersey Maritime, Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and the Peel Group, revealed a vision for the site last night (Wednesday, 9 September) at an event held as part of London Shipping Week. The project, which is expected to cost around £20m and take three years to complete, aims to benefit the local economy with skills development and opportunities for knowledge-sharing.

By Mersey Maritime

Cammell Laird & New Nuclear in the North West Event

Cammell Laird & New Nuclear in the North West: Its Contribution to the Northern Powerhouse
17 July 2015, 12.15-2.15pm
Mersey Maritime, Birkenhead

The event was hosted by Cammell Laird & New Nuclear Watch Europe, in association with Mersey Maritime where
Dr David J Powell, Vice President for Nuclear Power Plant Sales – Europe, GE Hitachi talked about PRISM: Technology to power our energy future. GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) believes that PRISM offers the most efficient, clean, cost-effective option for turning nuclear waste into low carbon energy; while also managing used nuclear fuel and surplus plutonium by converting it into electricity.

Other featured key not speakers were David Mowat, MP for Warrington South, Tim Yeo, Chairman of New Nuclear Watch Europe & Managing Director of Cammell Laird Linton Roberts, accompanied by Mersey Maritime’s Acting CEO, Chris Shirling-Rooke providing a contextualised sector overview.

By chrishough

LJMU Green Business Networking Lunch

Thursday 23rd April 2015
Lairdside Maritime Centre, Birkenhead

As part of Mersey Maritime’s St George’s Day programme of events we had the pleasure of promoting a Green Business Networking Lunch on behalf of our partners Liverpool John Moores University.

The event was hosted by the expert team from LJMU’s Low Carbon Innovation Hub (LoC), who discussed the green issues affecting the Maritime Industry and the availability of funded and free support available to Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in areas including:

Implementing Sensor Technologies
Low Carbon Planning
Real Time Monitoring
Sustainable Asset Management
Energy Efficiency / Management

The event took place at LJMU’s Lairdside Maritime Centre in Birkenhead, and guests had the opportunity to experience a taster session on LJMU’s ship handling simulator, the UK’s only 360 degree field-of-vision ship’s bridge simulator.

MMIA16 Award Categories
Chris Shirling-Rooke Appointed as CEO for Mersey Maritime
Merseyside Beats Global Competition To Build £200 Million Polar Research Ship
Cammell Laird & New Nuclear in the North West Event
LJMU Green Business Networking Lunch
Peel Ports Group Wins Business of the Year at #MMIA15