APPLICATIONS for the inaugural Maritime UK Solent Awards, celebrating the very best in the region’s maritime excellence, have opened.

The inaugural awards are organised by Maritime UK Solent, the voice of the region’s maritime sector providing leadership for a thriving maritime region through activities that support growth and collaboration.

The awards will showcase the driving forces behind the Solent’s thriving sector.

The awards have 12 categories: Diversity Champion, Innovation, Clean Maritime Innovator, Clean Maritime Business, International Trade, Employer of the Year, Start-up of the Year, Future Skills, Business of the Year, Apprentice of the Year, Employee of the Year and Maritime Hero.

Stuart Baker, managing director at Maritime UK Solent, said: “Our region has a breadth of maritime excellence that is unsurpassed globally with world-leading capabilities that we are proud to represent.

“We’re encouraging all maritime-focused businesses in the Solent region to use these awards as a platform to showcase your contributions to the continued success of the sector. We’re particularly excited about the Maritime Hero award. If you know someone who has gone above and beyond for the sector in recent years, this is your opportunity to shout aboutit.”

The shortlist will be announced at the Southampton International Boat Show on September 22 with the winners announced at a ceremony held on Friday. October 14 at the Leonardo Royal Southampton Grand Harbour Hotel during the Maritime UK Week –an annual event that shines a spotlight nationally on latest developments in the maritime sector.

The closing date for applications is August 26.

More information about the awards including full criteria can be found by visiting

Maritime UK Solent is the regional cluster organisation for the maritime sector and wider supply chain in the Solent where a £7.7billion sector represents 25 per cent of the total economic output of the Solent economy.