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

Category : Mersey Maritime News

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Maritime invites industry votes for its sixth annual awards

Mersey Maritime will once again allow the whole maritime industry to vote in its annual awards, bringing back a voting platform that was a huge success in 2019.

The Mersey Maritime Industry Awards (MMIA20) take place at St George’s Hall on Friday, March 6. For the 2019 awards a new voting platform was introduced, using a combination of a judging panel and a wider industry vote.

This model proved to be a big hit with the wider maritime sector which cast more than 1,000 votes ahead of the ceremony. Now, beginning on Tuesday, February 4, the platform will once again open to allow people across the industry to have their say.

The final winners of each of the award categories will be determined by a combination of the phase one judges scores and phase two industry vote. The platform will close to votes at midday on Friday, February 14. The voting rules are as follows:

  • Participants will be required to provide their name, company and valid company email address.
  • Participants are only eligible to vote once for each award category.
  • Participants are not permitted to vote for their own company, colleagues or organisation (these votes will be excluded from the final scores).

There are a further two categories; Rising Star and Maritime Ambassador of the Year, which have already been determined by the industry judging panel.

Once the industry vote closes, all entries will be reviewed and adjudicated to ensure that the rules have been adhered to.

Ruth Wood, head of commercial at Mersey Maritime, said:

“Mersey Maritime first launched the MMIA industry vote as part of the judging model for the 2019 awards, which was received with great acclaim.

The industry voting platform allows the wider industry to have their say on who they think deserves to win and showcases the talent, innovation and strength of our maritime industry not only in the North West but across the UK.

The theme of this year’s MMIA is Navigating New Horizons. With the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union now a reality, Mersey Maritime is keen to emphasise the opportunities for Liverpool city region which is now home to the UK’s main western-facing port”.


Click here to cast your vote in the MMIA20

By Mersey Maritime

2020: a lot done already, a lot more to do!

What an incredibly busy start to 2020 it has already been for Mersey Maritime and our members!

From two very well attended networking breakfasts with Gary Doyle of Peel Ports Group and Tony Graham of Cammell Laird, through to a practical LinkedIn workshop facilitated by Digital Associate, the visit of our colleagues from the Isle of Man on the occasion of the launch of the new ferry terminal project and then the really important visit of the Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP, every single day so far has been a strong and dynamic demonstration of just how important maritime is here in our region.

Nationally there is much talk of the imperative of investment in the North of England as a priority for the Government. From our perspective here, some of the asks around that are very simple: we want to see the realisation of high speed rail but that can’t just be about better north/south services. Connecting our east coast in the Humber to the west coast in Liverpool with efficient, fast and capable train services is vital for our future prosperity. We’ll be seeking to use our influence with government to lobby hard for that to be a priority.

Internationally we’ve also been reminded of the volatility in relationships around the world with ongoing uncertainty in Iran, underlining my message from last year about the importance of investment in the Royal Navy and our capability to be able to defend our interests across the globe. In early spring we will have a very visual demonstration of our existing strength when HMS Prince of Wales berths in the Mersey; what an incredible sight that will be!

Thinking of international affairs, we are now a matter of hours away from the point at which the United Kingdom formally leaves the European Union on 31st January. For much of last year, the key message around Brexit that I heard was that businesses wanted certainty so they could plan and respond to the challenges and opportunities it presents accordingly. Now that the general election result has provided that certainty and the legislation is in place to bring it about, we must resolutely look to the future. I am determined that Mersey Maritime and the industry here in the Liverpool City Region generally plays a full part in driving forward an optimistic agenda for jobs and growth as our country looks to trade globally in a renewed and more independent fashion. That’s why we participated in the second UK-US Maritime Nations Forum last November in Washington and why we are delighted to partner with Maritime UK to host a reciprocal visit to Wirral and Liverpool this March. As the UK’s leading west coast facing maritime region, the opportunity here is obvious for us. But we mustn’t lose sight of our colleagues in Europe too, so we are also leading on the second UK-Netherlands Maritime Nations Forum in February over in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Members are strongly encouraged to engage in this important ‘trade mission’ work and I look forward to seeing many of you do so.

Finally, the Mersey Maritime Awards for 2020 continue to gather pace! The finalists have been selected, their promotional videos are in production and we will soon launch the voting platform to allow members and the wider industry the opportunity to select the overall winners. We fully expect this to be the biggest event yet with tables nearly sold out and around 500 guests attending. The whole Mersey Maritime team is proud to showcase our sector in this way and really delighted to encourage so many of our members to shout loud about the extraordinary work they engage in. See you in March!

2020 looks like it will be a really fantastic year for maritime in the Liverpool City Region. Mersey Maritime look forward to working with you all to drive forward our industry in the months ahead!

By Mersey Maritime

Maritime minister puts transport and freeports high on the agenda

UK Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said the new Government was ready to “turbo boost” rail infrastructure in the North as she met with maritime industry leaders in Merseyside.

Ms Ghani, a Minister in the Department for Transport, also said the introduction of freeports across the UK was high on the Government’s agenda and she was asking Liverpool City Region, and other maritime clusters, for their proposals.

On Wednesday morning she visited Mersey Maritime, the representative body for Merseyside’s £4bn powerhouse maritime sector, to speak with local business people. She also had a one-to-one meeting with Mersey Maritime Chief Executive Chris Shirling-Rooke.

The Minister said the maritime sector had a reputation for being “incredibly polite” and urged industry leaders and entrepreneurs to make themselves heard more clearly. She added: “If the maritime industry didn’t do what it did this country would grind to a halt.”

She will continue to play a major role in the implementation of the Government’s Maritime 2050 strategy, which is looking to spark a new era of growth in the maritime sector, worth around £50bn a year to the UK, and also ensure it is at the forefront of the fight against climate change.

Mersey Maritime, along with Maritime UK, is playing a key role in the planning and implementation of Maritime 2050 and is already working closely with Government.

She acknowledged the huge investment Peel Ports had made in the Port of Liverpool with its £750m Liverpool2 container terminal and the need for better transport links to maximise the port’s potential.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps are due to review whether rail projects such as HS2 and HS3, connecting the east and west of Northern England, will be backed by the Government.

Ms Ghani said: “Peel have done really good work at the Port of Liverpool… we want to match those aspirations. We need to focus on freight capacity and how quickly we can get freight criss-crossing the country.”

She also said the Government was keen to push on with its strategy of reintroducing freeports to the UK with plans for a minimum of 10 around the country. A freeport is free trade zone, typically around a port, in which goods can be traded and manufactured without customs duties or taxes.

The Minister said it was also possible to have a freeport zone actually away from a port. She explained: “We are keen to consult with ports around the UK and we are asking them to put forward their submissions. A freeport does not have to be at a port. It can be located at a space between ports.”

Ms Ghani also said it was vital to encourage UK ports to invest in new technology and added she was fully behind the drive to increase the number of women working in the maritime sector. Mersey Maritime has been at the forefront of the national Women in Maritime campaign, hosting a public speaking workshop at their offices last November.

Commenting, Chris Shirling-Rooke, said:

“We were delighted to facilitate the visit of the Maritime Minister to Merseyside today who we know to be one of the most passionate and strongest advocates for our industry at the heart of Government. From an informal discussion with a number of our key partners and member businesses, to viewing the site of the essential Wirral Waters project and finally to a tour of the Port of Liverpool, all that is good about the sector in the Liverpool City Region was on clear display.

“Mersey Maritime is driven by a simple mission: to increase jobs, growth and prosperity across the maritime sector. Many opportunities are on the horizon, not least owing to our strategic position as a gateway for Atlantic trade. I want our region to be at the forefront of future trade and innovative projects to bring about a further expansion of the sector locally. It was fantastic to make the case for that to the Minister in person today.”

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Maritime to host visit by Maritime Minister

The north west’s leading maritime representative organisation, Mersey Maritime, is pleased to host a major visit by Nusrat Ghani MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport and Minister for Maritime, on Wednesday 22nd January 2020. The Minister will join a meeting with a cross section of the region’s maritime businesses over coffee at the Maritime Knowledge Hub in Birkenhead, before receiving an update on the Wirral Waters project on the site of this major regeneration scheme and then embarking on a tour of the Port of Liverpool hosted by Peel Ports Group.

Commenting ahead of the visit, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, Chris Shirling-Rooke said:

“We are delighted to host the Maritime Minister here in Merseyside this week, building on our well established and incredibly strong relationship with the Department for Transport. On many occasions in the last year, Mersey Maritime has been delighted to engage with the Minister at a variety of events from London International Shipping Week last September through to our attendance at a variety of receptions and briefings for the sector. It has been fantastic to see her enthusiasm and commitment to the UK’s largest industry and one which is absolutely vital to our local economy here in the north west.

“We look forward to updating the Minister on key projects that are vital to lock-in the growth and prosperity we know the wide-ranging maritime sector already brings to the region. Mersey Maritime has been one of the strongest advocates for the transformative Wirral Waters project to bring about the second phase of the Maritime Knowledge Hub, representing an investment of £23million and the potential to create 4,000 jobs. As we approach the UK’s departure from the European Union in just over a week from now, the strategic importance of the Port of Liverpool, the UK’s most significant Atlantic facing port, will be clear for her to see. This is another timely opportunity for us to showcase all that is important and exciting about the present and future for the maritime industry that we are so proud to represent.”

By Mersey Maritime

Finalists announced for the sixth Mersey Maritime Industry Awards #MMIA20

Following an intensive afternoon of assessment and review on Tuesday 14th January 2020, Mersey Maritime are delighted to confirm the finalists for the 2020 Mersey Maritime Industry Awards, #MMIA20. Thirty six finalists have started the new year off on a positive note as a panel of thirteen leading industry judges came together to agree the final list which will shortly go out to an industry wide voting platform. The platform will go live in early February, giving local, national and international industry members the opportunity to vote for the ultimate winner.

The first round of the process saw a record number of applicants with nearly fifty individual companies entering, giving the judging panel no easy task in determining the very best from more than one hundred submissions. Each award has three finalists for the twelve categories, with face to face interviews also having taken place for the 2020 ‘Rising Star.’ Mersey Maritime will now work with the finalists to produce short films to bring to life their application and further showcase their achievements. The films will help those voting via the industry platforms make an informed choice about who they want to ultimately see win.

Commenting, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, Chris Shirling-Rooke, said:

“Our awards continue to go from strength to strength and are rightly viewed as the amongst the greatest maritime awards in the UK, championing regional strengths and celebrating the true diversity of our incredible industry. I am absolutely thrilled! Once again our panel of judges were incredibly impressed by both the range and quality of the applications received. The diversity of the companies and individuals that applied is testament to how the maritime industry is thriving here in the Liverpool City Region, being worth over £4.2 billion to the local economy and employing some 52,000 people. Selecting just thirty six finalists wasn’t easy!

“As the momentum builds to the awards evening on Friday 6th March at St Georges Hall, Liverpool, we look forward to giving a wider audience the opportunity to have their say on who should win each category when the voting platform is launched. The next few weeks are going to be incredibly exciting!”

MMIA20 Finalists

  • Business of the Year sponsored by Peel Ports Group
    • Denholm UK Logistics
    • Offshore Painting Services Ltd
    • Tratos UK Ltd
  • Employer of the Year sponsored by Kays Medical
    • Liverpool Boat Charter Ltd (Floating Grace)
    • Olsen Actuation UK Ltd
    • Vigo IT Solutions
  • Engineering Company of the Year sponsored by Manufacturing Technology Centre
    • DT Engineering
    • Micro-Epsilon
    • Walker Engineering (NW) Limited
  • Environmental Impact Award sponsored by Wirral Waters
    • Cammell Laird
    • Sharples Group
    • University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University
  • Innovation Award sponsored by Royal HaskoningDHV
    • Bibby Hydromap
    • Brookes Bell
    • Tratos UK Ltd
  • International Trade Award sponsored by Western Union Business Solutions
    • Beegrip Ltd
    • Hill Dickinson
    • Tapiit Services UK Limited
  • Maritime 2050 Award sponsored by Maritime UK
    • Lloyds Register
    • Peel Ports Group
    • Solent LEP
  • Maritime Professional Services Award sponsored by Fort Recruitment
    • Brookes Bell
    • Haines Watts Chartered Accountants
    • Polaris Media Management
  • Micro Business of the Year sponsored by Brookes Bell
    • Beegrip Ltd
    • CIF Consulting
    • Hughes Subsea Services Limited
  • Positive Impact Award sponsored by Tapiit Maritime
    • Jubilee Sailing Trust
    • Liverpool Seafarers Centre
    • Nautilus Welfare Fund
  • Rising Star Award sponsored by Royal Navy
    • Anastasia Kohanuka, Tapiit Services UK Limited
    • Dr Cai Bird, Marlan Maritime Technologies Ltd
    • Natasha Williams, Denholm UK Logistics
  • SME of the Year sponsored by Denholm UK Logistics
    • Carmet Tug Company Limited
    • D Morgan plc
    • Tapiit Services UK Limited

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Maritime team join maritime leaders to discuss plans for the year with HRH The Princess Royal

It has been a busy start to the year already for Mersey Maritime’s Chief Executive, Chris Shirling-Rooke, and team member, Simon Eardley, who attended the Maritime UK National Council meeting in London on Friday 10th January 2020. The meeting was chaired by its Patron, HRH The Princess Royal. Chris, as Assistant Chair of Maritime UK, leads on the Maritime 2050 priority of developing regional cluster organisations across the country and part of Simon’s role, aside from his duties within Mersey Maritime, is as Maritime UK Regional Cluster Development Manager. Promoting ‘Regional Growth’ is a key part of the overall theme of the Maritime 2050 strategy which sets the long-term direction of travel for the maritime industry in the years ahead. The National Council brings together leaders across the whole of the UK’s £46.1 billion maritime sector and other key priorities such as ‘People’, ‘Competitiveness’, the ‘Environment’ and ‘Innovation’ were also high on the agenda at the intensive discussions.

Commenting, Chris Shirling-Rooke said:

“Mersey Maritime is proud to lead the regional cluster development programme on behalf of Maritime UK as we seek to drive forward the Maritime 2050 agenda, working in close collaboration with Government. Using our considerable experience, built up over nearly twenty years across maritime in Merseyside, assisting with this work was an obvious area for our organisation to be involved with. We’ve supported our colleagues in the Cornwall Marine Network and the South Coast Marine Cluster with the development of ‘Maritime UK South West’, seen the launch of ‘Maritime UK Solent’ and also started the process of developing a cluster organisation in Norfolk and Suffolk. There’s also considerable interest from a range of other partners around the country in this work programme and we are confident of being able to continue to deliver new and developing clusters right across the breadth of the United Kingdom.

“Now that the general election campaign has been concluded and a settled majority government is in place, we know that powering up our coastal communities remains a key priority. Here in Merseyside, many opportunities await in the months ahead, not least given our strategic importance as a gateway for transatlantic trade. Maritime already represents some £4.2 billion to the local economy across the Liverpool City Region and contributes both directly and indirectly to 52,000 jobs. The sector is set to grow substantially in the next few years and I am determined that our dynamic businesses and member organisations will maximise every opportunity to increase jobs and prosperity for the whole of our area.”

By Mersey Maritime

Biggest regional maritime awards in the UK gather rapid momentum since their launch

Following the launch of the sixth annual Mersey Maritime Industry Awards in early December, momentum continues to build around what is widely recognised as the premier event in the United Kingdom for the industry. The annual opportunity for businesses, enterprises and charitable organisations to showcase their work to a regional, national and international audience will take place on Friday 6th March 2020 at St Georges Hall in Liverpool.


Commenting, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, Chris Shirling-Rooke said:


“In just a few weeks since launching our #MMIA20 we are delighted to have seen a huge amount of interest in them already. Every day more businesses are applying across a range of categories which really capture the essence of our thriving maritime industry here in the Liverpool City Region and further afield. From Employer of the Year, open to businesses demonstrating true commitment to supporting their employees’ wellbeing, through to the Innovation Award which highlights those pushing the boundaries in maritime products, services or practices and the Maritime 2050 Award for those making a big contribution to the national policy agenda, the range of options to choose from is there for all to see.


“The significance of these awards is recognised in every aspect of them. Our venue will be spectacular with the iconic and historic St Georges Hall hosting the expected 500 guests, with Hill Dickinson LLP generously supporting the welcome reception. Every category is now fully sponsored by leading businesses and organisations with a significant regional and national profile and our panel of judges is second to none in our industry. And once again, one of the most familiar faces in BBC broadcasting, Louise Minchin, has specifically asked to be able to host the event for us. What a vote of confidence in all respects for this event which grows every single year and that we are so proud to organise.


“Knowing all this, we are left with just one question: why wouldn’t you want to be part of the biggest and best maritime awards around? Applications will remain open until 07 January 2020 with all the information needed for entries available on our easy to use online platform via the Mersey Maritime website:


“Our motto as an organisation is that our members are #StrongerTogether. I hope even more maritime businesses will take the opportunity to be part of this fantastic showcase for our sector, so get your applications in today!”


Award categories fully sponsored


Category Company sponsor
Employer of the Year Kays Medical
Business of the Year Peel Ports Group
Innovation Award Royal HaskoningDHV
International Trade Award Western Union Business Solutions
SME of the Year Award Denholm UK Logistics
Rising Star Award Royal Navy
Maritime Ambassador’s Award Beech Group
Engineering Company of the Year Award Manufacturing Technology Centre
Maritime 2050 Award Maritime UK
Environmental Impact Award Wirral Waters
Micro Business of the Year Award Brookes Bell
Positive Impact Award Tapiit Maritime
Maritime Professional Services Award Fort Recruitment


Top-level judging panel announced


Name Position Company
Petra Wilkinson CBE Deputy Director Maritime Strategy and Programme Department for Transport
Anne-Marie Mountifield Chief Executive Solent Local Enterprise Partnership
Cameron Mitchell Director Isle of Man Ship Registry
Professor Michael Parkinson Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Civic Engagement University of Liverpool
Helen Kelly Head of Communications Nautilus International
Ben Murray Director Maritime UK
Angie Redhead Head of City Assets Liverpool City Council
Jamie Gardiner Associate Director Royal HaskoningDHV
Cdre Phil Waterhouse Naval Regional Commander Royal Navy
Ben Ludzker Managing Director Kays Medical
Richard Baigent Head of FX Sales Western Union Business Solutions
Gary Hodgson Managing Director – Port and Logistics Peel Ports Group


By Mersey Maritime

Our massive maritime industry and our vision for its future must be a focus in this general election

With less than three weeks to go until polling day in the General Election 2019, the manifestoes have been launched and live ballot papers are now beginning to land on doormats. Voters around the country are making their choice in what may well turn out to be one of the historic electoral contests of our generation. With all the rhetoric and the heat of debate in the campaign, it is easy for key messages and themes to be missed with the focus inevitably being on the seminal subjects of the NHS, education and, of course, Brexit, arguably the very reason this election is taking place at all.

Mersey Maritime members know only too well how much our sector really matters and deserves to have the spotlight of debate cast upon it too. Nationally it is worth more to the economy than air and rail combined, representing £46.1 billion and 1.1 million jobs. Closer to home, the key statistics are striking too.

Over the summer, in collaboration with Maritime UK, we commissioned a major study into the economic impact of the sector in the Liverpool City Region and the results were significant. When the discussions at a national level talk in abstract terms about the ‘economy’, ‘growth’, ‘productivity’ and ‘jobs’, this is what that actually means.

Maritime in our region:

  • Contributes £4.2 billion to the economy in domestic output through business turnover;
  • Supports 52,000 jobs across the area;
  • Employs some of the most productive works in the economy, way above the national average; and
  • For every £1 generated by the sector, the wider economy benefits by £2.64.

My message is simple and clear: with maritime being so important to all levels of the economy, this general election is an essential opportunity to focus on the priorities our industry has already been setting out in this campaign through the Maritime UK manifesto. Building on Maritime 2050, the first long-term strategy that is already driving the sector forward since its launch earlier this year, the themes are well known and familiar. But people, innovation, the environment, competitiveness and regional growth aren’t just words. They represent clear priorities and policy areas that, acted upon properly, have the potential to have a transformative effect. Like investing in people to equip them with the skills they need for an exciting career in maritime – from ports to shipping or businesses services. Or harnessing new technology and innovation as a response to the pressing need to tackle the climate change agenda that underpins our own collaboration recently with businesses in the offshore energy sector. There’s massive potential out there across so many areas!

It really is vital that candidates from all parties, particularly those who have the opportunity to represent our coastal communities, respond to the overall vision the industry is setting out as we seize the opportunities that an election campaign always presents. The driving ambition to create a stronger, greener, outward looking and global UK maritime sector to build prosperity and jobs is there amongst our businesses and partners. The challenge now is for our aspirant politicians to step up to the mark and make it a reality!

Read the Maritime UK manifesto here:

By Mersey Maritime

Navigating New Horizons: Sixth Annual Mersey Maritime Industry Awards set for 6 March 2020

Recognised as the United Kingdom’s leading maritime cluster organisation at the recent Maritime UK National Awards in Southampton, Mersey Maritime is pleased to announce the launch of its own sixth annual Mersey Maritime Industry Awards, 2020.

A firm fixture in the calendar of the maritime community across the North West, Mersey Maritime will once provide the industry across the North of England the opportunity to showcase their work at this special and high profile event taking place on Friday 6th March 2020 at the iconic St Georges Hall in Liverpool.


Commenting, Chief Executive, Chris Shirling-Rooke said:

“As an organisation we were delighted to be recognised at a national level by Maritime UK in their awards in September, although we are rather used to handing the awards out ourselves rather than receiving acclamation in this way! But it has given us a taste of what it feels like to have the work and activity we engage in on a day to day basis applauded and accredited externally. Here in the North West, I’ve always felt that we are in a unique position. Businesses collaborate with each other, offer support and celebrate achievements together. Mersey Maritime is driven by our motto that we are, ‘Stronger Together’, which has been a key factor in the Liverpool City Region’s recognition as a centre of maritime excellence. These annual awards always seek to showcase this fact.


“This year our theme is ‘Navigating New Horizons.’ With the UK’s likely withdrawal from the European Union firmly in sight, it is more important than ever that we look to the opportunities that a renewed focus on global and international trade represents for our region. As the country’s major west-facing port city, the wider Liverpool City Region is well placed to seize the opportunities presented as we reach out as far as possible across the world to bring trade, investment and growth to our area. Now is the time to be excited and optimistic about the future. These awards will definitely celebrate and champion the enthusiasm I know matters so much to our members.


“We are delighted to also announce the generous support of a number of our long term strategic partners in sponsorship for the event. ‘Diamond Sponsorship’ has been secured from Peel Ports Group, Kays Medical, Western Union Business Solutions and Royal HaskoningDHV for MMIA20. Each of these businesses recognises the valuable role Mersey Maritime plays in being the ‘voice for the maritime sector’ in the Liverpool City Region and are committed to seeing our £4.2 billion sector continue to thrive.”


“Our sixth annual awards event looks set to be the biggest and best yet. Our planning is now well advanced, and the application process is live online. For some time, we’ve wanted to take these important regional awards to the next level and we are confident our plans for the event in 2020 won’t disappoint. Find out more here:


Award application details:

 The application process for the awards opens on Monday 25th November 2019 and will close on Tuesday 7th January 2020. The award categories are as follows:

  • Employer of the Year
  • Business of the Year
  • Engineering Company of the Year
  • Environmental Impact
  • Innovation Award
  • International Trade Award
  • Maritime Ambassador’s Award
  • Maritime 2050 Award
  • Maritime Professional Services Award
  • Micro Business of the Year
  • Positive Impact
  • Rising Star
  • SME of the Year


For further information please visit 

Mersey Maritime invites industry votes for its sixth annual awards
2020: a lot done already, a lot more to do!
January E-Zine
Maritime minister puts transport and freeports high on the agenda
Mersey Maritime to host visit by Maritime Minister
Finalists announced for the sixth Mersey Maritime Industry Awards #MMIA20
Mersey Maritime team join maritime leaders to discuss plans for the year with HRH The Princess Royal
December E-zine
Biggest regional maritime awards in the UK gather rapid momentum since their launch
November E-zine
Our massive maritime industry and our vision for its future must be a focus in this general election
Navigating New Horizons: Sixth Annual Mersey Maritime Industry Awards set for 6 March 2020