The Lloyd’s Register Group, the independent risk management organization, has unveiled plans to move its London marine operations to a specially developed site at the University of Southampton.
The move, which is planned for 2009, will see the transformation of the University’s Boldrewood Campus to accommodate a state-of-the-art building for Lloyd’s Register, a training facility jointly-owned by Lloyd’s Register and the University, and the University’s School of Management.
David Moorhouse, Chairman of Lloyd’s Register, described the plans as a major step towards creating the future shape of Lloyd’s Register: “It will parallel and complement two other technology-driven initiatives we are taking – the establishment of marine R&D facilities in China and South Korea
.” However, he stressed that the move would not affect the Group’s traditional links with the City of London as the corporate office
and governance of the Group will remain firmly based there.
The plans build on the existing collaboration between Lloyd’s Register and the University of Southampton and will establish Southampton as a world-leading centre for a broad range of marine-related research and the education of maritime professionals.
Mr Moorhouse continued: “We have chosen Southampton, after a detailed study and full consultation with our London employees, because it will enable us to align our marine R&D and management educational initiatives more closely with the world-class expertise in these areas at the University. Some of our major UK shipping clients also have offices in the area and basing our marine operations there will make it easier to recruit people with marine technical expertise. We hope the development of the UK’s first ‘professional campus’ at Southampton will prompt other maritime companies to move to the area.”
The next stage in the collaboration with the University will be to seek planning consent for the £60m development of the Boldrewood site. Lloyd’s Register and the University are confident that the proposal to replace the current building on the site with smaller, higher quality buildings is sympathetic to the concerns of the local community and will benefit a wider area.
Concluding, Mr Moorhouse commented: “We have looked hard at the future role of ship classification and have assessed how we will need to adapt and change the services we provide. The move to Southampton is a strategically important component of our response.”