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

Meet The Team

Mersey Maritime are a professional and dynamic team, with real cluster expertise within the maritime sector and wider supply chain.

Chris Shirling-Rooke

Chief Executive Officer
07912 668 649

Chris is Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, the sector champion for the maritime industry in the North West of England and which is now considered to be the best example of a ‘Maritime Cluster Organisation’ in Europe (DG MARE, 2018).  He leads a small professional team whose role is to support business growth, highlight the breadth and diversity of the sector and strengthen local supply chains by building relationships across companies of all sizes – from ports and global shipping lines to engineering firms and innovative start-ups.

Chris oversaw the launch of the pioneering Maritime Knowledge Hub (MKH) in 2016, a partnership in the Liverpool City Region including Mersey Maritime, Peel Group and Wirral Council. The MKH aims to become the UK centre of excellence for maritime and marine innovation and research and development and will move into the eagerly anticipated Wirral Waters development in 2022.

Under Chris’s leadership, Mersey Maritime in now a leading voice on the Board of Maritime UK, ensuring the North West maritime industry is heard at a national and international level.  As Assistant Chair of Maritime UK, he has led the establishment of Maritime UK’s Regional Council for cluster organisations, so that other clusters can also be heard, fostering collaboration and driving growth for the United Kingdom.

Ruth Wood

Head of Commercial
07894 586 804

Ruth has worked in the maritime industry for over 10 years, joining Mersey Maritime in 2018 after 9 years working as the Senior Marketing Manager for Peel Ports Group based at the Port of Liverpool. She studied Marketing and Communications (BA Hons) at the University of Newcastle.

As Head of Commercial, Ruth is responsible for developing and delivering the Mersey Maritime membership offer to support the needs of the industry through events, networking, business introductions and bespoke solutions. Ruth has a wealth of contacts across the maritime industry which she uses to drive value and growth for the membership.  As an advocate for diversity in maritime, Ruth sits on the Maritime UK Women in Maritime Taskforce and has led activity amongst the membership.

Simon Eardley

Partnerships and Policy Co-ordinator
07920 053 338

Simon joined Mersey Maritime in June 2019 following a varied career working in on the ground political campaigning, both as a constituency and regional campaign manager and latterly head of UK office for a Member of the European Parliament. He studied History and Politics (BA Hons) at the University of Warwick.

He leads on management of Mersey Maritime’s key partner relationships and is also policy co-ordinator with responsibility for all external facing communication platforms within the organisation. This includes social media work across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, website development and article / thought-piece material  on a range of subjects pertinent to the work of Mersey Maritime.

In addition to his work with Mersey Maritime, Simon is also Programme Manager (Regional Cluster Development) for Maritime UK. As such he is responsible for delivering Maritime UK’s Regional Cluster Development Programme, sharing knowledge and best practice in the development of existing, and the creation of new, regional cluster organisations across the UK, using the Mersey Maritime model as an example of best practice. He serves as Secretary to the Maritime UK Regional Council.

Stacey Bradley

Business Development Executive
07919 558 397

Stacey Bradley joined the team in July 2019 with a background in supply chain and account management.

As Business Development Executive, Stacey is responsible for looking after our members, engaging with new businesses and helping to facilitate events.

If you would like to enquire about membership at Mersey Maritime please contact her using the details on this page and she will be pleased to assist.

Suzanne Fulton

Office Manager
07917 781 750

Suzanne joined Mersey Maritime in 2016 having worked at Ernst Young, The Steve Stuart Partnership and Brabners Stuart.

As Office Manager, Suzanne facilitates the smooth running of the office along with the membership and finance functions.  Suzanne is also an assistant to the CEO.

Abbie Milne

Digital Marketing and Events Apprentice

Abbie joined the Mersey Maritime team in 2020 having worked at Peel Ports.

As Digital Marketing and Events Apprentice, Abbie runs our online presence to inform our members of upcoming events and news in the maritime industry.

Abbie is currently working towards her Level 3 in Digital Marketing.


As a founding member, Hill Dickinson is proud to support Mersey Maritime. Mersey Maritime creates and facilitates business opportunities for both its members and the wider maritime and business communities through regular networking events, lobbying and industry awards while addressing the skills gap in the maritime sector by integrating local academic resources with businesses to ensure focused training and development. Mersey Maritime has achieved so much since its inception in 2003 and continues to strive with members to ensure Merseyside’s place as the leading maritime hub.
Colin Lavelle, Legal Director, Hill Dickinson LLP
As a fledgling business with big aspirations for success, joining Mersey Maritime has been absolutely the right move for us. It’s meant we haven’t had to start from scratch, knocking on doors and trying to get access to the right people. Through Mersey Maritime, we’ve attended business events like Face-2-Face and have already been able to meet everyone who’s anyone in this region. It’s the best investment we have made this year!
John Bean, Managing Director, Geo Data Systems
Royal HaskoningDHV is a global engineering and project design consultancy with 6500 staff working in 150 companies, but we’ve been something of a sleeping giant in Liverpool. We’re proud to be sponsors of Mersey Maritime. It enables us to be fully engaged in the cluster, with a place at the table and positioned as first choice company for new business opportunities within our areas of expertise.
Jamie Gray, Associate Director, Royal HaskoningDHV
I come out of Mersey Maritime’s meetings with a bit of a buzz. Lots of people with the same energy and we can see what’s ahead and we want to be ready for it, be a part of it.
Tom Coyle, Managing Director, DT Engineering Limited
Mersey Maritime provides excellent networking opportunities, allowing people to meet people, and they do exceptionally well on training and skills. My only criticism is that companies want more!
James Douglas, ContainerPort
Back in 2008, the average age profile of the workforce at Cammell Laird was 47; so we recognised the need to address a potential skills gap up ahead. As a result of close collaboration with Mersey Maritime we‘ve committed to a long-term training programme that has seen our apprentice numbers rise from zero to more than 100. It’s put us in a much stronger position. We’re in better shape to plan for growth, we’re fulfilling a commitment to provide jobs for young people in this region and we’re revitalising the way we run our business.
John Syvret, CEO, Cammell Laird Group
Mersey Maritime is doing so much for the community and its succession planning for business is vitally important. It’s great to see Liverpool coming back as a global player – all power to your elbow!
Simon Reynish, Chairman, CILT North West
Mersey Maritime has brought the community together tremendously well.
Colin Kershaw, Brookes Bell
Mersey Maritime is unique, there’s nothing else like it!
Phil James, Weightmans LLP