‘Biggest and best’ Mersey Maritime Industry Awards recognises excellence of the £4bn sector

A sell-out audience of 450 people gathered for the awards ceremony and also heard the announcement that Maritime UK will open its new northern office at the Maritime Knowledge Hub in Birkenhead. Tony McDonough reports

Mersey Maritime
Andrew Moffat, Chairman Elect of Maritime UK, signs the Memorandum of Understanding with John Hulmes, chairman of Mersey Maritime. Picture by Al Disley Images


Liverpool city region’s £4bn maritime sector last night cemented its global status with the biggest and best Mersey Maritime Industry Awards (MMIAs) 2018 so far.

A sell-out audience of 450 people gathered for the awards ceremony held at Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium, and hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin, to see accolades handed out to the very best performers in the sector.

Notable winners on the night included Liverpool John Moores University Vice Chancellor, Professor Nigel Weatherill, who was the recipient of the Maritime Ambassador’s Award and Peel Ports Group which scooped the National Impact Award. Accu-right Engineering won the Business of the Year accolade.

Accepting his award, a shocked Prof Weatherill said: “I am totally and utterly surprised by this award and it has left me somewhat speechless.

“It is an enormous privilege to lead the team at the university and to be connected to other teams across the Liverpool city region. I work with a fantastic group of people.”

Major agreement

The success of the evening demonstrated Mersey Maritime’s status as the leading cluster in Europe, representing a sector that employs 28,000 people across the city region.

And, to further underline that point, Mersey Maritime announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Maritime UK that will see the national body open its new northern office at the Maritime Knowledge Hub in Birkenhead.

As the sector’s umbrella body, Maritime UK brings together the UK’s shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine industries to promote the sector, influence government and drive growth.

Mersey Maritime joined Maritime UK in 2017 and since then has been spearheading the organisation’s work in developing a network of regional maritime hubs. The agreement will help Mersey Maritime to further support the national sector, which employs around 1m people and is annually worth £40bn.

The cluster model developed in the Liverpool city region is recognised by the European Commission as the “gold standard”.

Mersey Maritime
All the winners at the Mersey Maritime Industry Awards 2018. Picture by Al Disley Images


Top-level attendees

Among the guests at Thursday night’s MMIAs, now in their fourth year, were a number of political and business heavyweights, including Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and Andrew Moffatt, Chairman Elect of Maritime UK, as well as a high level delegation from the Port of Rotterdam.

Addressing the guests at the start of the evening, Mersey Maritime chief executive, Chris Shirling-Rooke, outlined the breadth of the organisation’s membership and of the wider sector in the Liverpool city region.

“When we think about maritime do we think about the big data and IT companies, the offshore gas businesses and engineering companies, of which there are around 600 in the Liverpool city region – many of them exporting across the world?” he asked.

“Do we think of the lawyers and the accountants, the shipbuilders, the freight forwarders the colleges, the universities? They are all part of our maritime eco system and they support each other – that is what we do.

“We have been named as an exemplar and we are seen as the best cluster in Europe. What we do here is all about leadership and teamwork.”

The full list of winners of the MMIA 2018 is as follows:

Engineering Company of the Year – Sponsored by RSM UK

Accu-Right Engineering Limited 

Freight & Logistics Award – Sponsored by Seatruck Ferries

Liverpool John Lennon Airport & Wynne Aviation 

Best Newcomer – Sponsored by Stellamar

Sensor City

Global Reach Award – Sponsored by Natwest

Royal HaskoningDHV

Innovation Award – Sponsored by Peel Ports

Marlan Maritime Technologies 

Maritime Professional Services Award – Sponsored by Tilney

Hill Dickinson

Positive Impact Award – Sponsored by Associated British Ports (ABP)

Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust (MAST)

National Impact Award – Sponsored by Maritime UK

Peel Ports Group

Rising Star – Sponsored by Liverpool John Moores University

Sophie Phillips – Complete Training Solutions

Micro Business of the Year – Sponsored by MTC

Fort Recruitment  

SME of the Year – Sponsored by Royal HaskoningDHV

Offshore Painting Services

Maritime Ambassador’s Award – Sponsored by Beech Group

Professor Nigel Weatherill, Vice Chancellor, Liverpool John Moores University

Business of the Year – Sponsored by Stream Marine Training

Accu-Right Engineering Limited 

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