Liverpool to host top-level UK maritime summit

A national summit that will see maritime industry leaders and Government officials discuss the future of the UK’s £46bn maritime sector will be held in Liverpool this summer. Tony McDonough reports

Chris Shirling-Rooke
Chris Shirling-Rooke, chief executive of Mersey Maritime, addressing the 2019 Maritime Exchange

 

Leaders of the UK maritime sector will come together with senior Government officials in Liverpool to discuss the future of the £46bn industry.

On Thursday, June 23, industry body Mersey Maritime will hold its fourth annual Maritime Exchange conference (MME22) at Liverpool Town Hall. Its key focus will be the Government’s Maritime 2050 strategy.

First published in 2019 Maritime 2050, set out the Government’s strategy for the future of the maritime sector over the next three decades.

The wide-ranging report covered multiple areas including shipbuilding, exports, decarbonisation, digital innovation, skills and diversity. The Maritime Exchange was originally conceived in response to Maritime 2050 report.

In the UK, the maritime sector supports more than one million jobs. Liverpool city region is regarded as one of the most successful maritime clusters in Europe. The local sector contributes more than £4bn in GVA and supports tens of thousands of jobs.

In the early part of MME22, Mersey Maritime will release its latest economic impact report which is likely to show an even greater impact on the local economy by the sector in recent years. 

 

Sarah Kenny
Sarah Kenny, chair of Maritime UK at the Maritime Exchange 2021. Picture by Tony McDonough

 

The conference will feature a range of keynote speeches and panel discussions, focused around the themes of people and skills; technology and innovation; environment; competitiveness; and regional growth. Confirmed speakers, include: 

  • Sarah Kenny, chief executive of BMT and chair of Maritime UK. 
  • Nigel Quinn, chief executive of Bibby Marine. 
  • Richard Ballantyne, chief executive of the British Ports Association. 
  • Tom White, ecosystem director maritime and ports, Connected Places Catapult. 
  • Victoria Race, deputy director, maritime strategy and programmes, Department for Transport.
  • Jonathan Taylor, vice-president marine of Expleo. 
  • Mark Dickinson, general secretary of Nautilus International.
  • Tom Chant, chief executive of the Society of Maritime Industries. 

In an interview with LBN earlier this month, Mersey Maritime chief executive Chris Shirling-Rooke urged the Government to give the maritime sector its own clear voice in Whitehall by appointing a dedicated maritime minister.

He said: “We are proud to have an incredibly close working relationship with the Department for Transport and successive ministers, including the incumbent Minister for Aviation and Maritime, Robert Courts… but we believe that our industry warrants a more resolute focus on it with the dedicated support that a Minister’s sole focus would bring.”

Delegates will hear about specific opportunities to get involved in key projects and initiatives as well as network with colleagues from across the breadth and depth of the UK’s maritime industries.

This year’s MME22 conference is being sponsored by Expleo, Nautilus International, Liverpool John Moores University, RoyalHaskoningDHV and the Royal Navy. Click here to find out about ticket packages for members and non-members of Mersey Maritime and Maritime UK.

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