After 18 months of unprecedented challenge and turmoil, the powerhouse Liverpool City Region and North West maritime industry came together on Friday 17th September 2021 to celebrate the sector at the 7th Annual Mersey Maritime Industry Awards.
The event, which was held at Liverpool FC’s Anfield home, was once again delivered on a large scale with hundreds of applications for the award categories received, nearly 500 guests in attendance and unprecedented interest in the event. For the first time, the awards also included two national categories for Apprentice of the Year and Apprentice Employer of the Year, in partnership with Maritime UK. And for the seventh year running, the host for the evening was former BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin.
Two keynote addresses were delivered on the night, with HRH The Princess Royal recording a special video message which started the proceedings, following on from her visit to Mersey Maritime earlier in the day. Then, coming at the end of London International Shipping Week 2021, Robert Courts MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State in the Department of Transport and Maritime Minister, spoke to the assembled audience to give an upbeat message around the theme of ‘Building Back Better.’
The prestigious Business of the Year Award was won by Expleo Group and for the first time ever, the unique Maritime Ambassador Award was given to an organisation rather than an individual – the Royal Navy. This award is always given in recognition of “outstanding dedication and achievement” and recognising the ‘Senior Service’ of the British armed forces in this way was the unanimous decision of the expert panel of judges, drawn from across the industry.
All the winners were selected using a combination of a panel of maritime sector experts and an online vote of the wider maritime industry across the UK. Diamond sponsors for the event were Peel Ports Group, Western Union Business Solutions and Kays Medical. Reception sponsors were law firm Hill Dickinson LLP and category sponsors included Beech Group, Brookes Bell, Denholm UK Logistics. Fort Recruitment, Manufacturing Technology Centre. OPS Wind, Royal Navy, Royal HaskoningDHV, VIRSEC and Wirral Waters.
Commenting, Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime said:
“The Mersey Maritime Industry Awards are the culmination of a long process for our finalists and we were deeply honoured to be able to offer this fitting recognition of the industry here in the North West and far beyond. It is right that we celebrate all that maritime means, not just to our region but the whole country, at this time. We enable 95% of the UK’s global trade, alongside the international and domestic tourism of tens of millions of Brits each year. During the pandemic crisis, our industry has helped underpin the resilience of the nation, maintaining networks supplying crucial food, fuel and medicine. Our scale and influence is the greatest it has been for generations.
“We must now look to the future. To the opportunities that lie before us to rebuild the economy and provide the jobs, skills and energy to thrive and transform our coastal communities. These awards are an opportunity to demonstrate – and celebrate – how each and every person who attended can make a contribution to that driving ambition. The opportunity for the Liverpool City Region is significant, being the UK’s largest west facing port and responsible for 45% of all our trade with North America. And this region is going to be at the heart of the UK’s drive to achieve net zero and decarbonisation by 2050.
“It was inspirational to see such excellence clearly on display in the room at our awards and the passion our fantastic industry has to drive forward post-pandemic recovery and play its part in continuing to build the economy that is so vital for us all.”
Maritime Minister, Robert Courts said:
“Maritime plays a vital role in all of our day to day the lives; contributing £46 billion pound to the economy each year and helping transport vital medicines and supplies – particularly during the pandemic.
“It was an honour to be at the Awards rightly acknowledging the sector for all they have done and looking towards the future.”
Full list of MMIAs winners is as follows:
Business of the Year sponsored by Peel Ports Group – Expleo Group
Employer of the Year sponsored by Kays Medical – PD Ports
Engineering Company of the Year sponsored by Manufacturing Technology Centre – Walker Engineering (NW) Limited
Environmental Impact Award sponsored by Wirral Waters – Royal HaskoningDHV
Innovation Award sponsored by Royal HaskoningDHV – Bibby Marine
International Trade Award sponsored by Western Union Business Solutions – Hill Dickinson LLP
MUK Apprentice Employer of the Year Award sponsored by VIRSEC – Royal Navy
MUK Apprentice of the Year Award sponsored by Royal Navy – Alexandra Cartmell, BAE Systems
Maritime 2050 Award in partnership with the Department for Transport – Artemis Technologies
Maritime Ambassador sponsored by Beech Group – Royal Navy
Maritime Professional Services Award sponsored by Fort Recruitment – Meet & Potato
Micro Business of the Year sponsored by Brookes Bell – Real Sphere Eco World
Positive Impact Award sponsored by OPS Wind – Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust
SME of the Year sponsored by Denholm UK Logistics – Stone Marine Shipcare Ltd