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MLE puts Liverpool on the maritime map on a global scale

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The inaugural Maritime Logistics & Energy thematic within the International Festival for Business 2014 has finished in a blaze of glory.

Highlighting Liverpool’s international role as a mercantile, maritime and key global trade gateway city, the MLE fortnight’s 48 events came to a close on June 20th.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Commercial Director for Mersey Maritime said: “The MLE fortnight in June has been a huge success. We have been able to showcase the breadth of talent and expertise that Liverpool has to offer on a global level. With support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and key partners including Bibby Line Group, Cammell Laird and Peel Ports, we have been able to deliver a programme which has helped businesses forge new relationships and ultimately boost the economy through these new links while reinstating Liverpool as an international player within the shipping industry.”

Mersey Maritime worked in partnership with Shipping Innovation Ltd to host the event in Liverpool. Shipping Innovation organised the highly successful London International Shipping Week in 2013 and which is due to be held again between Sept 7th and 11th 2015.

Sean Moloney, Director of Shipping Innovation, added: “We are thrilled there has been such a fantastic response globally to MLE. I believe this is simply a precursor for more things to come!”

The International Festival for Business 2014 is part of a Government initiative to help boost trade and to reassert the UK as a heavyweight trading force globally. MLE was one of seven thematics to be held during the 50-day festival which will run across seven weeks in June and July.

Highlights and key topics and events covered from 9th – 20th June during the Maritime Logistics & Energy thematic included:

– Shipping in Changing Climates conference

– Introduction to Bunkering seminar

– Series of industry networking events featuring high profile speakers including Sir Tim McClement KCB, hosted by Mersey Maritime

– Institute of Export round table hosted by Lesley Batchelor OBE, Director General of the IoE.

– Grant Thornton-hosted seminar focused on ‘Ports as Places’

– Isle of Man Maritime Group seminars and networking events designed to highlight the wide range of maritime and related services available on the Isle of Man, hosted across two days onboard the three masted tallship Kathleen & May on Liverpool’s historic waterfront

– KPMG-hosted seminar focused on the changing face of transport and logistics

– Presentation on supply chains in the chemical industry due to the chemical sector being the biggest exporter in the North West

– ‘Bibby Day’ – two x half day conferences hosted by Liverpool headquartered Bibby Line Group, including an evening cocktail reception for key clients

– Atlantic Action Seminar which touched on the financial opportunities and projects for small to medium sized enterprises.

– Roundtable event with Louise Ellman MP, Chairman of Transport Select Committee and MP for Liverpool Riverside; Director General of DG Mare Lowri Evans and Vice President of the European Investment Bank Jonathan Taylor

– Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association held an all-day seminar

– Conference held on the crucial role the shipping and port sectors play

– Piracy security issues

– Industry black tie gala dinner with speakers including EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki; Minister for Employment Esther McVey; and Vice Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB, Fleet Commander and Deputy Chief of Staff, Royal Navy.


The Maritime, Logistics & Energy thematic was organised jointly by Mersey Maritime and Shipping Innovation, organiser of last year’s highly successful London International Shipping Week (LISW).

Mersey Maritime Limited
Mersey Maritime is the private-public sector partnership that represents the interests of the shipping, ports and logistics sector on Merseyside, including improvements to the movement of freight across the region. It represents the interests of a cluster of 1700 businesses employing 28, 000 people, with a combined turnover of £2.6bn. The organisation receives funding via the European Regional Development Fund (see below), matched by private sector income raised through membership, events and consultancy services.

Maritime Sector Development Programme
The programme is open to Merseyside-based SMEs. These are defined as businesses with a registered office address in Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, Wirral or Knowsley (some postcodes excepted). They must engage in economic activity, being self-employed persons, family businesses, partnerships or associations. They must employ fewer than 250 staff and have an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50m, or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43m.
SMEs may qualify for assistance from the programme if they operate in the following sub-sectors: Building, repair and maintenance of ships or boats; Business services; Cargo handling; Defence; Education, training and skills; Engineering and fabrication services; Leisure and Recreation; Navigation and safety; Offshore and underwater services; Oil and gas; Port operations, Professional maritime services; Renewable energy; Research and development; Ship management; Shipping, freight and forwarding agents; Storage and warehousing; Transport by land, air or sea; Wholesale distribution and other specialist maritime sectors.

The European Regional Development Fund
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is making a real difference to people and businesses in the North West. The Current ERDF programme, which is worth €755 million, is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment. ERDF is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government. ERDF’s Maritime Sector Development Programme has been extended to 2015. It aims to support productivity, business growth and job creation among small to medium sized enterprises on Merseyside, helping to enhance the competitiveness of the sub-region both nationally and internationally. For further information please visit https://www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding

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