Strategy is ‘good news’ for region’s marine industry

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THIS week marks a historic moment for the marine sector, says one of the men behind the new Marine Industries Growth Strategy.

Patrick Carnie, of the defence firm QinetiQ, says the plan is the first of its kind to urge businesses, universities and the government to work together in an alliance seen as vital for the sector.

The idea behind it is to unite the commercial, leisure, and naval industries under one banner to drive exports, increase skills and attract investment.

If successful, the strategy could see the marine sector grow by £8bn and be worth £25bn by 2020.

Mr Carnie, who works for QinetiQ’s maritime arm, which is based in Haslar, Gosport, said: ‘It is a historic moment for the marine industry because we’ve never had a strategy like this before and it’s extremely important.

‘This is an opportunity which we have right now. If people take part there will be some success, but if they decide to wait until everyone else gets on board that’ll be too late.

‘We need people now.’

The strategy was developed by the Marine Industries Leadership Council, and was unveiled by business minister Mark Prisk at the Southampton Boat Show on Monday.

Mr Carnie was part of the team to devise the document.

He said the strategy is particularly important for the Portsmouth region because of it heavy involvement in the commercial, leisure and Royal Navy parts of the marine world.

He said: ‘Portsmouth has got a huge part of the marine industry, and everyone recognises the significance of the things that go on in Portsmouth and the local region so anything that can help the industry has got to be good news.’

See ukmarinealliance.com to get involved in the strategy.