Now considered one of the most prestigious events on the national maritime calendar, the fifth MMIAs was held at Liverpool’s Titanic Hotel and was attended by more than 400 guests. Tony McDonough reports
More than 400 guests attended the Mersey Maritime Industry Awards (MMIAs) in Liverpool last night (Thursday 14th March) to see accolades handed out to the best of the maritime industry from the Liverpool City Region and across the UK.
The industry awards, held at the city’s Titanic Hotel, are now considered one of the most prestigious events on the national maritime calendar. Now in their fifth year, they celebrate the companies, individuals and projects that are transforming, growing and creating positive impact within the industry.
The awards were hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin, with keynote speaker, Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK and also a special appearance from the Ellesmere Port Cadet Band.
Notable winners on the night included Pamela Brown MBE, who was the recipient of the Maritime Ambassador’s Award, Brookes Bell won Business of the Year and the National Oceanography Centre picked up both the Maritime UK National Impact Award and Positive Impact Award.
Winners were decided by a combination of an expert panel of judges and by a new voting platform introduced this year which saw more than 1,000 votes cast by the wider maritime sector.
Building the future
Mersey Maritime’s CEO, Chris Shirling-Rooke, said the MMIAs recognise the full spectrum and diversity of the UK’s maritime industry, which is clear in the finalists and winners of the awards.
He said: “The theme of the awards this year was Building the Future, which to me is all about collaboration. We can achieve so much more as an industry if we are working together, which is why the landmark Government Maritime 2050 report is so important as this sets out the future direction for the industry. Mersey Maritime is not only aligned to Maritime 2050 but is leading the way.”
Delivering his keynote speech, Mr Theochari spoke about the new Government strategy for the industry; the Maritime 2050 report. He said: “For the first time in living memory the Government are becoming invested in maritime.
“The Government says the ‘ocean economy’ will be worth three trillion dollars by 2050 and there is no reason we cannot grab a slice of that… we have to remain a great maritime nation and we have to do it in an environmentally sustainable way, we have to create jobs and we have to go forward with diversity in our sector.
“Mersey Maritime has shown great confidence in our industry at a time when we really need it.”
Business of the Year 2019
Adam Whittle from Business of the Year, Brookes Bell, said he felt “overwhelmed” at winning the award and paid tribute to the firm’s entire team. He added: “This means the world to us and it is fantastic to get the recognition from the industry. We have had a good year and seen growth in new markets, such as superyachts and renewable energy. It is very much a team effort at Brookes Bell and we are delighted to win this award”
Maritime Ambassador 2019
Equally delighted was Pamela Brown, winner of the Maritime Ambassador Award. The audience heard how she had forged a successful career and had gone on to demonstrate “unwavering dedication” to maritime charities and not-for-profit organisations.
Accepting the accolade, she told the audience: “What a shock. I have been involved in the maritime industry for 50 years and I will always “fight” for the Maritime sector be it Red White or Blue Ensign, public, private or voluntary sector. This is an incredible honour.”
Mersey Maritime Industry Awards Winners 2019:
- Business of the Year 2019 (sponsored by Stellamar) – Brookes Bell
- Employer of the Year 2019 (sponsored by Kays Medical) – Hill Dickinson LLP
- Engineering Company of the Year 2019 (sponsored by Wirral Waters) – Royal HaskoningDHV
- Freight & Logistics Award 2019 (sponsored by Fort Recruitment) – Peel Ports Group
- Global Reach Award 2019 (sponsored by Denholm UK Logistics) – Hill Dickinson LLP
- Innovation Award 2019 – sponsored by Peel Ports Group – GP Shipping Ltd
- Maritime Professional Services Award 2019 (sponsored by The Royal Navy) – Brabners LLP
- Maritime Ambassadors Award 2019 (Sponsored by Beech Group) – Pamela Brown MBE
- Micro Business of the Year 2019 (sponsored by MTC) – DGB Solicitors
- The Maritime UK National Impact Award 2019 (sponsored by Royal HaskoningDHV) – National Oceanography Centre
- Positive Impact Award 2019 (sponsored by Offshore Painting Services) – National Oceanography Centre
- Rising Star Award 2019 (sponsored by Western Union Business Solutions) – Claire Gilchrist, Royal HaskoningDHV
- SME of the Year 2019 (sponsored by NatWest) – Walker Engineering