Paul Wickes, CEO of Cornwall Marine Network, announced further CMN expansion this week with the creation of a strategic alliance with the South Coast Marine Cluster to create Maritime UK South West. This new identity means we will align as the South West regional arm of Maritime UK to ensure the needs of a stronger representation of local businesses are heard at national level.
“As part of this new alliance, Paul has been appointed to the National Council of Maritime UK. The first National Council board meeting of the year was last week in the presence of MUK’s national Patron, HRH the Princess Royal, and Paul updated the Council on the work being led by Cornwall Marine Network to drive business growth in Cornwall and the wider South West as part of the ambition for the Great South West to become a true coastal powerhouse.”
Of the appointment, Paul Wickes said, “The Cornish Marine sector is in the best strategic position it’s been in for years, adding £1.12 billion annually to Cornwall’s economy, with more than 900 businesses and 16,000 people employed. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to provide a voice for the needs of Cornish businesses at the industry’s top table.”
The new alliance will:
- Give a voice for our network of members and the marine sector at a regional and national level
- Gives our members automatic access to the benefits of Maritime UK
- Increase and improve supply chains, collaboration and contacts with the Great South West region
- Bid and tender for government monies to support businesses in the region to grow further
- Ensure the needs of small, rural and coastal businesses are considered in the governments Maritime 2050
- strategy, which Maritime UK has responsibility for developing
Under Paul’s leadership, the team at CMN has supported local marine businesses to create more than 3,000 new jobs, adding £330 million of value to Cornwall’s economy, meaning on average CMN has placed someone into a job every single working day since CMN started trading in June 2005. Last year, CMN’s subsidiary company, the Cornwall Marine Academy were recipients of the Maritime UK national Future Skills Award in recognition for preparing local young people to progress into jobs in the sector.
Of the future of Cornwall’s maritime sector, Paul said, “Cornwall’s marine businesses have an integral role to play in the future of UK maritime. I am confident the Cornish marine sector will continue to thrive as we maximise the influence and opportunities this new regional and national connection will bring. Reaching outside of Cornwall and influencing future strategy will ensure we strengthen our support for members in Cornwall, especially after our departure from the EU.”
On the expansion into the wider South West, Paul Wickes said, “The team at CMN is delighted to be working with our friends at South West Marine Cluster and Maritime UK to develop Maritime UK South West. CMN will use this opportunity to further develop stronger ties to government, provide a commercial voice to policy makers, develop and support more commercial opportunities, all aimed at increasing trade and investment for local businesses.”
CMN’s expert business support team continues to grow with 30 permanent team members now supporting local businesses. Other recent major developments have seen CMN launch a new interactive membership website platform and a range of new member benefits and services, and together with plans for a new series of events and activities across 2020 ensures Cornwall Marine Network continues to be at the heart of the marine community in Cornwall and will see this grow to the South West.