SOUTHAMPTON hosted the first ever Maritime UK Awards to recognise the stars of the £46billion sector.

More than 400 guests attended the ceremony, which took place during the Southampton International Boat Show.

The awards were the first of their kind and sought to celebrate businesses and organisations from the entire spectrum of the sector – from leisure to shipping, from professional services to ports and from engineering to advanced manufacturing.

An industry panel performed the judging over the summer.

The winners were as follows.

  • Diversity Award (sponsored by Red Funnel): Spinnaker Global.
  • Innovation Award (UK Ship Register): Shakespeare. Monofilament UK.
  • STEM Award (DFDS): Seafarers UK & Sea Cadets.
  • Sustainability Award (Royal Navy): Port of Cromarty Firth.
  • Coastal Powerhouse Award (Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute): Mersey Maritime.
  • International Trade Award (Portsmouth International Port): Actisense.
  • Employer of the Year Award (Stellamar): Hill Dickinson.
  • Start-up of the Year Award (DONMAC DATA): ARC Marine.
  • Future Skills Award (Nautilus International): Cornwall Marine Academy.
  • Rising Star Award (Western Union): Elsie Vrolijk, Royal HaskoningDHV.
  • Business of the Year Award (PwC): Ribeye Boats.
  • 2050 Award (Department for Transport): Red Funnel.
  • Maritime UK Fellowship Award: David Dingle.

Harry Theochari, chair of Maritime UK, said: “It was incredibly difficult for our judges to pick just one winner for each category, which is testament to the world-class work we have going on within this thriving sector. The UK’s maritime sector adds an impressive £46.1bn to the UK economy and supports over one million jobs so occasions like this are vital in showcasing success and sharing best practice.

“Right now, there is a real buzz around maritime, and huge excitement about working together to capitalise upon the opportunities that we collective face. Bringing people together for events like this from different parts of the country and sector is really important to helping form the relationships and partnerships to take this work forward.”

Maritime UK is working on next year’s event, which will be held in Plymouth as the organisers seek to show the strength of the sector around the UK. A handing-over ceremony was held between the two cities at the awards.

Kevin George from Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which hosted this year’s awards and was instrumental in bringing the event to the Solent, said: “It’s been a fantastic opportunity for us to welcome our peers from other parts of the UK to the Solent and show them first-hand the sheer strength and innovation of the sector here.

“In our region the maritime sector represents 20 per cent of the economy, supports 120,000 jobs and facilities trade worth a huge £77.5bn. They’re impressive figures and at Solent LEP we’re working hard to maximise the potential even further.”

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