SOLENT LEP SHORTLISTED FOR PRESTIGIOUS MARITIME AWARDS

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Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has been shortlisted in the 2020 Maritime UK Awards for both the Coastal Powerhouse and Future Skills categories. 

Being named finalists this year is especially rewarding as the panel of industry judges remarked that the standard of applications has been high and that there is clearly a great deal of tremendous work going on across the breadth of the maritime sector.

Being shortlisted for the Coastal Powerhouse award comes after a 12 month period when the LEP has continued to place the maritime sector at the centre of its activities. As the main economic sector in the Solent, it is the focus of much of the LEP’s work, demonstrated by its unparalleled maritime-related investments to date, and its further £27 million commitment to several important, high-profile projects in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit parts of the sector particularly hard.

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Among them, they include shore power at the Port of Southampton, the Centre for Enzyme Innovation that will develop green recovery solutions for the breakdown of plastics in the oceans, and Portsmouth’s flood defence scheme. These investments will directly deliver:

  • 761 new jobs
  • 760 construction jobs
  • Safeguard 10,119 residential and 1,311 commercial properties
  • Provide 23,000 ultra-fast broadband connections

For a region like the Solent where the maritime sector is so significant, one of the LEP’s strategic priorities is to ensure that the sector has the future skills it needs to develop a world-class talent base. Accordingly, they have invested significantly in maritime skills, training and careers, including £1.8 million in Portsmouth Naval Base Marine Engineering Centre; £11 million for the Isle of Wight College for their Centre for Composites, Advanced Manufacturing and Marine; and £7.5 million to Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering for their world-leading training facilities.

Kevin George, LEP Director and Chair of Maritime UK Solent said:

“We’re delighted with this announcement that we are finalists in the 2020 Maritime UK Awards. It has been crucial that the LEP strives for the Solent to be a major coastal powerhouse as the maritime sector plays such an important role in facilitating UK trade with the rest of the world, with international trade driving economic growth and better living standards. It is a timely boost for an area of the country and a sector that has been disproportionately impacted by the economic consequences of COVID-19.

“Because we have such a strong vision for the future of the maritime sector in this region, we have been helping people at all stages of their career to build the skills they need to respond to new technology and drive an innovative knowledge-based economy. In fact, this week we are partnering with Maritime UK to put on the first virtual maritime careers fair through which we aim to promote the breadth of maritime opportunities that are available to young people setting out on their career paths.”

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The Solent LEP will hear if it has won in the 2 categories on 12th November at the awards which are being hosted as a live-streamed event from Plymouth and will be viewable by people from across the country and overseas. Maritime UK announced the decision to move to a live stream format in response to recent changes in government restrictions and social distancing guidelines.

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