Bay House School’s new Maritime Centre in Gosport backed by sailors Sir Ben Ainslie and Alex Thomson

CONSTRUCTION has started on a new state-of-the-art Maritime Centre based at Bay House School in Gosport.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 4th March 2021, 2:49 pm

The new facility which is part of the Gosport and Fareham Trust (GFM) will be running a marine careers course which has been backed by Olympic sailing gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie and British sailor Alex Thomson.

The post-16 vocational diploma is equivalent to three A-levels with students using the purpose built classrooms at the centre along with carrying out more practical elements of the course in partnership with the Andrew Simpson Centre in Portsmouth.

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Gosport sailor Alex Thomson

Alex Thomson, who attended Bay House School, is the patron of the GFM Marine and Maritime curriculum. He said: ‘I welcome the news that building will commence on the new Marine and Maritime Careers Centre.

‘The facility will offer young people so many of the core skills they need to pursue careers at sea or within the marine and maritime industry.

‘I’d like to congratulate the GFM as well as the Andrew Simpson Foundation who have worked tirelessly to get this programme off the ground during such a challenging time. I wish them all the very best of luck with what’s to come.’

Sir Ben Ainslie, who is a founding trustee of the Andrew Simpson Foundation, added: ‘This incredible course looks to truly inspire and motivate students to aim high and achieve their dream careers in the marine and maritime sector, regardless of their background.

‘I’m really proud of the impact the Andrew Simpson Foundation is having both locally and nationally, partnering with local educational bodies to achieve this.

‘I really hope that young people are inspired to sign up and explore the many future career opportunities within the Portsmouth and Gosport area, an area experiencing a huge growth in the marine and maritime industries, and not to forget an area I’m extremely passionate about being close to home.’

The centre will look to welcome its first cohort of students in September.

GFM executive trust lead for personal development and community services Chris Willis said: ‘Our new Marine and Maritime Centre and diploma is a hugely exciting step forward, offering the young people of Gosport and beyond the opportunity to forge new careers paths on the water.

‘Huge thanks go to our partners Andrew Simpson Foundation and patron Alex Thomson.’

The new centre also has the backing of Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage.

Ms Dinenage said: ‘Plans to build a Marine and Maritime Careers Centre is such positive news for our area.

‘Our peninsula is home to a range of marine and maritime businesses and it is so important that our young people have the skills which can really secure the future prosperity of Gosport’s world class marine and sailing industry.’

Prospective students can find out more information and register for the course via the GFM and Andrew Simpson websites.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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