Marine industry leaders take helm of new 'park'
KEY players in maritime industries have taken the helm of the new South West Marine Energy Park.
The park – which covers an area from Bristol to the Isles of Scilly – was launched earlier this year.
Now a private sector-led steering board has been set up, with representatives from key players, including Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and Fred Olsen.
This week the board elected Peter Kydd, director of strategic consulting at Parsons Brinckerhoff, as its first chairperson.
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Plymouth City Council is a member of the board and has pledged to support the park with £15,000 to match contributions from Cornwall and Bristol councils.
Funding from private and public sector partners, including Plymouth University, has created a revenue pot of £100,000, which will enable the park to roll out its business plan.
The plan sets out a raft of initiatives to represent and promote the South West marine energy sector at a national and international level, providing access to resources, funding and finance and opening up development opportunities.
Plymouth City Council Leader Tudor Evans said: "Plymouth is already a national marine player, but we need to stay ahead of the game and grasp opportunities that new technologies make available to us.
"Despite difficult economic times, investing in the energy park is vital for the economy and for sealing our reputation as a marine city.
"This is an exciting time for an exciting field and we need to be in the thick of it. The park's aims – growing businesses, attracting investment, accessing funding, building supply chains and skills – all fits in perfectly with what we want to achieve."
The draft business plan sets out goals for commercial development of wave and tidal energy projects.