The South Coast Marine Cluster announces partnership with Cornwall Marine Network and rebrand as “Maritime UK South”

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This week the South Coast Marine Cluster will rebrand as part of a collaboration with Cornwall Marine Network to form Maritime UK South West, becoming part of the national body Maritime UK.

The Heart of the South West LEP, along with the other Great South West LEPs of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and Dorset are key partnership in this initiative to maximise on the growth potential of the marine and maritime sector.

Under a new format and tighter geography, Maritime UK South West aims to ramp up its work with businesses and academia and bring together and promote the region’s maritime strengths, also creating stronger links between the SW sector and national government.

In order to create one strong body and voice for the region, Cornwall Marine Network will widen the support of Maritime UK South West, contributing expertise in business growth support and demand-led skills to enable greater collaboration and support for business development across the region.

Jim Stewart, South Coast Cluster Board Member, Chair of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, and Chief Executive Port of Poole said:

“The South Coast Marine Cluster has built a valuable regional network across business, research and the public sector. It creates the evidence and business cases to lever investment in our world class ocean economy and promotes these strengths around the world. By becoming part of Maritime UK we aim to forge stronger links with national government and stakeholders and create a clear route to sector development in the South West.”

Paul Wickes MBE, Maritime UK Board Member, CEO of Cornwall Marine Network group of companies, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP Employment and Skills Board Member, said:

“Cornwall Marine Network is delighted to be joining Maritime UK alongside the South Coast Marine Cluster. CMN will use this opportunity to further develop our nationally recognised model of employer-led business support to improve the productivity and skills of the wider South West maritime economy to create a true coastal powerhouse.”

The creation of Maritime UK South West is part of Maritime UK’s programme to create regional cluster organisations in leading maritime regions across the country, modelled on the body for the Liverpool City Region, Mersey Maritime.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said:

“Maritime clusters have a significant impact on the regional and national economy which is why it’s fantastic to see the launch of this new partnership in the South West.

“Through our Maritime 2050 Strategy we want to see more strong regional maritime clusters which drive innovation, ambition and create a critical mass of expertise and skills.

“The South West has great strengths in marine autonomy, renewables and the clean maritime innovation which are critical to the future of the sector.”

The South Coast Marine Cluster is currently resourced through investment from the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth and from Local Enterprise Partnerships covering Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, The Heart of the South West (Devon, Plymouth, Somerset& Torbay ) and Dorset. Following the rebrand and relaunch to Maritime UK South West the cluster plans to ramp up its offer to business and to the sector by launching a new a sponsorship and partnering model.

The CMN will use the collaboration with South Coast Marine Cluster to expand its successful marine employer membership model across the South West.

The 2020 Maritime UK Awards are being hosted in the region when the best of the UK’s maritime sector visit Plymouth on 1 July.