Cornwall's marine industry has a buoyant future ahead as the industry passes 'major milestone.'

This June, Cornwall Marine Network, a not-for-profit company which champions this vital sector of the Cornish economy, announced the passing of a 'major milestone' with the creation and filling of more than 4,000 jobs and apprenticeships since the company’s inception in 2005.

The membership organisation - which is jointly owned by over 350 unique Cornish marine businesses – has “defied gravity” according to CEO Paul Wickes - winning record levels of new business during the Pandemic and helping supporting members to survive, grow, diversify and innovate despite the difficult economic climate.

Falmouth Packet: Paul Wickes, CEO MRPaul Wickes, CEO MR

Mr Wickes, MBE, said: "The whole team is immensely proud to have reached this milestone with our members during such tough times.

"It’s an achievement which cements Cornwall’s reputation as a leading international player in the rapidly evolving marine industries.

"We’re predicting increased investment and opportunities as decarbonisation of the sector becomes part of the UK government’s ‘net zero by 2050’ drive."

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The maritime jobs created – which encompass everything from Welding Engineers to Traditional Shipwrights, Operations Managers to Hydrographic Surveyors and Sailing Instructors – will reportedly help Cornish marine businesses continue to compete at the highest level.

Mr Wickes said: "The CMN team has grown every year we have existed and on average, every working day for the last 16 years we have created a new job somewhere in Cornwall.

Falmouth Packet: Cornwall's marine sector hard at work. Cornwall's marine sector hard at work.

"That’s a high value job in a growing industry, with a great future!"

"Cornwall is rapidly becoming a centre of marine excellence, attracting international innovators and world-class supply chain talent.

"Part of our mission is to help the next generation access the right training, allowing them to launch fantastic careers right here on their doorstep."

Cornwall Marine Network is also one of voices of the industry and an advocate for its diverse Cornish membership; Mr Wickes himself is a Director of Maritime UK, the collective organisation for maritime interests nationwide and Chair of Maritime UK’s Regional Cluster Council.

Falmouth Packet: Maritime industry infrastructure in Falmouth is in high demand.Maritime industry infrastructure in Falmouth is in high demand.

In order to continue advocating for its members at this intense level, Cornwall Marine Network has recruited 23 new team members this year and leased two new office spaces in Falmouth.

The organisation has ambitious plans for the next eighteen months, which include starting a specialist recruitment company and establishing a marine innovation centre to help start-ups.

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Mr Wickes continued: "Our members need unprecedented levels of support in these rapidly changing times, when challenge comes hand-in-hand with opportunity.

"Consequently we are offering a wider range of services and assistance than ever before.

"The last of the EU-funded initiatives will come to an end in 2023, and we have many innovative projects coming online to replace those funding streams."

Cornwall Marine Network has secured £45 million in regional investment over the years, channelling this money into developing skills, bringing innovation to market, improving productivity in the workplace, and helping businesses market themselves and their products - as well as cash grants to members.

Falmouth Packet: Cornwall's maritime assets are a huge draw for visitors.Cornwall's maritime assets are a huge draw for visitors.

The organisation estimates that by fuelling growth in jobs, this investment has added £450 million to the Cornish economy over a sixteen year period, with Cornwall Marine Network becoming in the process the biggest privately owned not-for-profit marine business support organisation in Europe.

Diccon Rogers, MD at Falmouth-based Keynvor Morlift (KML), specialist contractors in offshore marine services said: "The news that Cornwall Marine Network has helped create more than 4,000 jobs comes as no surprise to KML.

"The organisation works tirelessly to promote the marine sector here in Cornwall, giving us a powerful collective identity and a presence on the world stage.

"Thanks to Paul and his outstanding team, we’re far more than the sum of our parts, and here at KML we’re looking forward to working with CMN for many years to come."