Maritime & Marine

Published: February 4, 2020 | Updated: February 4, 2020

Maritime UK South West to make a splash in collaboration with Cornwall Marine Network

The Port of Poole. Picture: Dorset Biz News.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A renamed maritime partnership, which includes Dorset, is planning to make quite a splash.

South Coast Marine Cluster has rebranded as part of a collaboration with Cornwall Marine Network (CMN) to form Maritime UK South West.

It becomes part of the national body Maritime UK.

Under a new format and tighter geography Maritime UK South West aims to ramp up its work with businesses and academia and bring together and promote the region’s maritime strengths, also creating stronger links between the SW sector and national government.

In order to create one strong body and voice for the region, CMN will widen the support of Maritime UK South West.

The network will contribute expertise in business growth support and demand-led skills to enable greater collaboration and support for business development across the region.

Jim Stewart, Chair of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and also Chief Executive of Poole Harbour Commissioners and a South Coast Marine Cluster Board Member, pictured right, said: “The South Coast Marine Cluster has built a valuable regional network across business, research and the public sector.

“It creates the evidence and business cases to lever investment in our world class ocean economy and promotes these strengths around the world.

“By becoming part of Maritime UK we aim to forge stronger links with national government and stakeholders and create a clear route to sector development in the South West.”

The creation of Maritime UK South West is part of Maritime UK’s programme to create regional cluster organisations in leading maritime regions across the country, modelled on the body for the Liverpool City Region, Mersey Maritime.

Nusrat Ghani, Maritime Minister, said: “Maritime clusters have a significant impact on the regional and national economy which is why it’s fantastic to see the launch of this new partnership in the South West.

“Through our Maritime 2050 Strategy we want to see more strong regional maritime clusters which drive innovation, ambition and create a critical mass of expertise and skills.

“The South West has great strengths in marine autonomy, renewables and the clean maritime innovation which are critical to the future of the sector.”

The South Coast Marine Cluster is currently resourced through investment from Local Enterprise Partnerships covering Dorset, The Heart of the South West (Devon and Somerset) and Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly, as well as the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth.

Following the rebrand and relaunch to Maritime UK South West the cluster plans to ramp up its offer to business and to the sector by launching a new sponsorship and partnering model.

The CMN will use the collaboration with South Coast Marine Cluster to expand its successful marine employer membership model across the South West.

The 2020 Maritime UK Awards are being hosted in the region when the best of the UK’s maritime sector visit Plymouth on July 1.

To find out more about Maritime UK South West and how to get involved, contact or visit