New Maritime Center of Excellence Planned in the UK
A £25 million maritime center of excellence development project has been proposed to focus on innovation, engineering, R&D, entrepreneurship and training within the heart of Wirral Waters in the U.K.
Peel L&P has formally submitted a planning application to Wirral Council to build the proposed Maritime Knowledge Hub, which would provide a high-level industrial and maritime facility, supporting the region’s £5 billion maritime ecosystem where research and innovation will focus on areas such as decarbonization of the maritime industry as well as technology transfer from other industries. The plans also include business accelerator space and conference facilities for both the marine sector and business community.
The industry-led facility would drive research and innovation by bringing education, businesses and Government together within the U.K.'s £50 billon maritime sector.
Wirral Council has been a core partner to the Maritime Knowledge Hub project from the outset and is working with the prospective tenants, Peel L&P, Mersey Maritime and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to enable the project to start construction in 2023.
Richard Mawdsley, director of development for Wirral Waters at Peel L&P, said, “This is a pioneering regeneration project which will offer so much to the U.K.’s maritime sector. Wirral and the Liverpool City Region have a proud maritime heritage and the development of the Maritime Knowledge Hub will not only continue that heritage, but it also presents a fantastic opportunity for job creation and economic growth for the whole of the Liverpool City Region and beyond.
“The design of the Hub and the regeneration of the tower is very special with education, industry and culture at its very core. The tower is a very important local asset, full of history and heritage, and it’s only right that it takes center stage of the Wirral Waters regeneration project.”
Chris Shirling-Rooke, chief executive of Mersey Maritime, said, “The maritime industry, and Mersey Maritime as the organization that brings us together in the region, have been championing this project for more than a decade. Our commitment to it is resolute – it is really needed and now is the time to crack on with the work. This project speaks to the heart of the collaboration opportunities that drive our activity on a day-to-day basis and the timing couldn’t be better. With decarbonization firmly on the agenda, with the next stage of the Government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition about to get underway, we look set to maximize the opportunity it represents. And crucially, the project will deliver thousands of well-paid and high-quality jobs where they are needed most.”