Senior members of Labour’s shadow ministerial team visited Mersey Maritime this week for a special briefing event and visit to the site of the proposed Maritime Knowledge Hub in Birkenhead. Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Jim McMahon MP, Shadow Maritime Minister, Mike Kane MP and Birkenhead MP, Mick Whitley, joined CEO, Chris Shirling-Rooke and other members of the Mersey Maritime team on Monday 02 August 2021.
In a packed afternoon session, Chris Shirling-Rooke presented on all the latest activities, future priorities and Covid-19 industry updates from the Liverpool City Region’s powerhouse maritime sector. Known to be worth some £4.2 billion to the local economy, employing around 52,000 and offering some of the most skilled and secure jobs in the country, the visit was timely as the sector looks forward as we emerge from the pandemic crisis. The intensive briefing session then moved to the former hydraulic tower location at Birkenhead docks which sits at the heart of the Wirral Waters regeneration scheme led by Peel Land & Property and delivered in partnership with local and regional government. The £23 million Maritime Knowledge Hub project has the potential to drive jobs and growth within the industry substantially over the coming years.
Commenting, Chris Shirling-Rooke said:
“Mersey Maritime is proud of our strong relationship with parliamentarians and government departments; it gives us another unique way to champion the interests of the maritime industry locally, at a national level. We were delighted to welcome the Shadow Secretary of State, the Shadow Maritime Minister and Birkenhead’s MP to our area and brief them on the importance of the sector to the local economy and outline the crucial role it has played in keeping the country fed, fuelled and supplied throughout the pandemic crisis. As we look to ‘Build Back Better’ and respond to the other great challenge of our time, the journey to net zero and decarbonisation, it was great to be able to outline to senior members of the Opposition front bench what we can do as an industry to deliver on our response to climate change and also boost the regional economy with investment, new and highly skilled jobs and regeneration opportunities for our coastal community here. We look forward to continuing to build this relationship and to future opportunities for collaboration.”
Jim McMahon MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, said:
“The transport brief I hold is extremely varied so having the opportunity to visit one of our key maritime regions was welcome indeed. The Mersey Maritime role as a cluster organisation with jobs, growth and working together on behalf of the industry in this area was fantastic to see. After such a challenging year for us all, we know that the maritime sector has played a crucial role in helping us all throughout the pandemic crisis and will continue to do so in the months ahead. I was particularly pleased to see the exciting plans to deliver the Maritime Knowledge Hub project which will play such a crucial and much needed regeneration role for the Liverpool City Region in the years ahead.”
Mike Kane MP, Shadow Maritime Minister, added:
“We all want to see the opportunities that highly skilled and good quality jobs can bring to our coastal communities around the United Kingdom. The Liverpool City Region has a long maritime history and exciting future ahead of it and, building on past engagement, I was delighted to receive an update from the Mersey Maritime team on all they have delivered over the last year as well as the key projects they are working on to further expand and develop the industry in the future. Coastal areas are often the poor relation when it comes to investment and focus but having an organisation like Mersey Maritime, to bring the industry together and champion its priorities, is crucial. I look forward to continuing the dialogue on behalf of the Labour shadow team in the months and years ahead.”