In this latest of Mersey Maritime’s series about Liverpool’s presence at London International Shipping Week, we hear from Chris Shirling-Rooke, their Chief Executive…
It seems obvious to say that Liverpool is well-known as a port city, but how much do people really appreciate how important the maritime sector is to the city, and how important Liverpool is to the UK’s maritime community?
It’s no exaggeration to say that the area around the Mersey is one of the best examples of a maritime cluster anywhere in Europe. The industry locally employs more than 22,000 and is worth around £3.5 billion – strengths that are built on decades, if not centuries, of maritime tradition, innovation and excellence.
I’m not sure this is fully appreciated in the city region let alone further afield. And despite our excellent credentials, we can never be complacent, because we are always in competition with other port communities across the UK and even in Europe.
These are two of the reasons that Mersey Maritime was formed in 2003: helping our 200+ members to tell their outstanding story and ensuring that we keep making an exceptional contribution to the regional and national economy for years to come.
As a not-for-profit organisation, we’re able to invest all our resources into supporting the business, innovation and thought leaders in our maritime community. Our work enables them to create growth in jobs and investment opportunities.
An excellent example of this is our role as a lead partner on the Maritime Knowledge Hub, a £26m centre of excellence bringing together the best of maritime industry and academia.
We originally revealed the vision for this at the last LISW in 2015 and now we’re returning with even more success stories under our belt, including the creation of 400 jobs in the last five years.
Our event during the week will showcase our achievements and the work of our various partners, without whom we wouldn’t be able to have any impact. And, of course, we’re confident that the evidence we present will attract new investors and partners to the Mersey.
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