Maritime UK Solent is celebrating a year of incredible achievements for the region’s world class maritime sector – and is now looking ahead to greater success in 2024.
In a busy 12 months, the regional maritime representative body has been key to delivering many high-profile initiatives and events to support the continued success of the region’s maritime cluster.
Anne-Marie Mountifield, Chair of Maritime UK Solent, said: “We are proud to look back at the fantastic achievements of Maritime UK Solent over the past year, and how we’ve raised the profile of the Solent’s thriving, innovative maritime cluster on the regional, national and international stage.
“There is outstanding opportunity here in the Solent and we will continue to champion our region’s exceptional maritime industry from the grassroots of working with schools to highlight careers opportunities for local young people through to international trade delegations to highlight investment opportunities on a global scale.”
Maritime UK Solent has successfully worked with Government bodies to bring about positive change, representing the regional sector at national and international events to champion and promote the region as a globally significant maritime cluster. Its high-profile engagement has resulted in an increase in numbers in the Maritime UK Solent network to 900. The team championed the region internationally, including a trade visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia; hosting a visit to the region by the US Government Maritime Administration (MARAD) delegation and supported an international trade visit by Government representatives from Indonesia.
In June, more than 160 local teenagers, aged from 15 to 19, were inspired to learn about the career options open to them in the maritime industry when they visited MUK Solent’s Careers Open Day at Seawork, Europe’s leading commercial marine exhibition, held in Southampton.
The event gave students from local schools and colleges an exclusive opportunity to engage with professionals working in the commercial marine sector and get first-hand insight into the industry and the range of jobs available to them.
Maritime experts from the Department for Transport (DfT) met with some of the Solent’s maritime business leaders on a fact-finding visit organised by Maritime UK Solent on the Isle of Wight in June.
The visit included over 20 Solent maritime industry representatives who discussed key business activity in the region and found out what additional support the Government could offer to strengthen the Solent’s maritime sector and help it to grow and innovate.
Maritime UK Solent stepped into the spotlight at the UK’s biggest maritime event, London International Shipping Week, regarded as one of the most important shipping events in the world, in September.
It focused attention on the Solent’s flourishing maritime sector in the Maritime UK Global Trade Hub and hosted an influential Solent Investment Showcase, enabling thriving marine businesses to pitch to UK and international investors.
Maritime UK Solent shared the stage with the Rt. Hon. Penny Mordaunt MP, Daniel B. Maffei, Chairman of the US Federal Maritime Commission, and the UK Department for Business and Trade, to highlight the Solent’s flourishing maritime sector.
In October, Maritime UK Solent announced that 10 Solent-based maritime organisations had successfully secured over £32 million funding in the Government’s Zero Emissions Vehicles and Infrastructure (ZEVI) competition. A significant portion of the £80 million match-funding made available by the government will now support clean innovation in the Solent.
This will support the design and development of clean maritime solutions and is being made available for the construction and set-up of projects which can demonstrate zero emission solutions in a real-world environment.
Maritime UK Solent also took part in a number of international trade visits to highlight the opportunities available in the Solent, including to Halifax, Nova Scotia and hosting a visit from the US trade delegation.
The spotlight shone on the champions of the Solent’s world-class maritime sector at the prestigious Maritime UK Solent Awards 2023, also in October, a glittering event celebrating the success, creativity and innovation taking place in the region’s marine industry.
Anne-Marie Mountifield, Chair of Maritime UK Solent, said: “The Maritime UK Solent Awards celebrated the very best this incredible regional sector has to offer. This past year has been exceptionally successful for the maritime organisations that we are proud to champion, and the awards ceremony provided a platform for these brilliant maritime organisations, acknowledging their remarkable achievements and the incredible talent in the Solent’s maritime cluster.”
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