Mersey Maritime Awards celebrate best of £4bn sector

Almost 500 people gathered in Liverpool for the 7th Annual Mersey Maritime Industry Awards and heard speeches by HRH The Princess Royal and Maritime Minister Robert Courts

Mersey Maritime
All the winners of the 7th Annual Mersey Maritime Industry Awards 2021


Almost 500 guests assembled at Liverpool Football Club for the 7th Annual Mersey Maritime Industry Awards (MMIAs).

Hundreds of companies from across Liverpool city region’s £4bn maritime sector, and beyond, entered for the awards – an unprecedented number. Maritime Minister Robert Courts addressed the event, which was themed around ‘Building Back Better’.

He 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.”

Those present also heard an a video address from HRH The Princess Royal. She had visited Merseyside earlier in the day to see the site of the planned £23m Maritime Knowledge Hub at Wirral Waters in Birkenhead.

Held at the end of London International Shipping Week 2021, which Mersey Maritime attended, the awards, for the first time, 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. The 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.

Robert Courts
Maritime Minister Robert Courts addresses the 7th Annual Mersey Maritime Industry Awards
Mersey Maritime
MUK Apprentice of the Year, Alexandra Cartmell, BAE Systems


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. 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.

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.”

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)
  • 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
  • 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

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