Maritime Minister to speak at Liverpool summit

Maritime Minister Robert Courts heads a top-level line-up at a major conference in Liverpool that will discuss the future of the UK’s £116bn maritime sector. Tony McDonough reports

Robert Courts
Maritime Minister Robert Courts will speak at the 2022 Maritime Exchange. Picture by Tony McDonough

 

A host of high-level figures headed by Maritime Minister Robert Courts will speak at a major summit in Liverpool next week to discuss the future of the UK’s maritime sector.

A report published in the last few days by Maritime UK revealed the industry annually contributes £116bn to the UK economy. It also supports more than 1m jobs and its footprint is bigger than rail and aviation combined.

Organised by Mersey Maritime, the fourth Maritime Exchange event will see government ministers, politicians and leading industry figures come together at Liverpool Town Hall on Thursday, June 23. On the agenda is the environment, innovation, technology, people, skills, regional growth and competitiveness.

A series of major announcements are expected, of both national and regional significance. The whole event is being delivered by regional cluster body Mersey Maritime in close co-operation with Maritime UK.

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Mersey Maritime chief executive Chris Shirling-Rooke said: “We are thrilled this major fixture in the maritime calendar is once again able to offer an exceptional line-up of speakers.

“That’s no surprise to us given how significant the industry is to both the UK economy and indeed here in our own Liverpool city region. Despite all the challenges that the last two years have thrown at us, the maritime industry is buoyant. It is well placed to respond to all that lies ahead.

 

Sir Michael Bibby
Sir Michael Bibby, chairman of Bibby Line Group will speak at the event. Picture by Tony McDonough
Chris Shirling-Rooke
Mersey Maritime chief executive Chris Shirling-Rooke will open the event. Picture by Tony McDonough

 

“Maritime has a £116bn economic impact nationally. At the heart of this success and ambition sits the Maritime 2050 strategy which was first launched in early 2019. It was debated thoroughly that year at the very first Mersey Maritime Exchange.

“It directs every aspect of our industry’s future and is the focus for much of what we all do. This conference will be an ideal opportunity for the biggest names in the industry to come together, take stock of where we are and plan for the future. It is not to be missed.

The conference will feature a number of keynote speeches and panel discussions focused on the major themes of Maritime 2050. The line-up of speakers is now confirmed as follows:

Welcome Address:

  • Chris Shirling-Rooke, chief executive, Mersey Maritime
  • Robert Courts MP, Department for Transport – Maritime Minister
  • Victoria Race, deputy director, maritime policy – Department for Transport

Panel Chairs:

  • Sarah Kenny, chair – Maritime UK and chief executive of BMT Global
  • Chris Shirling-Rooke, CEO, Mersey Maritime

Environment Panel:

  • Kevin Brown, commercial and contracts Leader – Bibby Marine
  • Cllr Gill Wood, clean growth champion – LCR Growth Platform
  • Joe Parsons, senior environmental consultant – Royal HaskoningDHV
  • Peter Aylott, maritime director – UK Chamber of Shipping

People & Skills Panel:

  • Dr Robyn Pyne, principal lecturer (logistics and maritime management) – Liverpool John Moores University
  • Gary Jeffreys, area managing director UK & Ireland – Maersk
  • Mark Dickinson, general secretary – Nautilus International
  • Captain Rachael Smallwood, head of human performance – Royal Navy

Regional Growth Panel:

  • Richard Ballantyne, chief executive – British Ports Association
  • Thomas White, maritime & ports – Connected Places Catapult
  • Mike Alcock, deputy director, freight & ports – Department for Transport
  • John Lucy, director – LCR Freeport

Technology & Innovation Discussion:

  • Sarah Kenny, chair – Maritime UK
  • Ewan Chesser, global technology centre manager – Chevron
  • Jonathan Taylor, vice-president – marine – Expleo
  • Nusrat Ghani MP, non-executive chair of Artemis Technologies and former Maritime Minister

Competitiveness Keynote:

  • Sir Michael Bibby, chairman – Bibby Line Group

Closing Speech:

  • Mike Kane MP, Shadow Maritime Minister

The Mersey Maritime Exchange is sponsored by Expleo, Nautilus International, Liverpool John Moores University, Royal HaskoningDHV and the Royal Navy. Tickets sales are nearly at capacity with virtual an in-person attendance options available. Click here for more details.

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