The winners of the Maritime UK Solent Awards 2023 were announced at a stylish ceremony held in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard on Thursday 5 October.
The very best of the Solent’s world-class maritime sector was celebrated at the second annual event, organised by Maritime UK Solent, shining a spotlight on the success, creativity and innovation currently taking place in the region’s marine industry.
Anne-Marie Mountifield, Chair of Maritime UK Solent, said: “The Maritime UK Solent Awards celebrate the very best this incredible regional sector has to offer. This year has been exceptionally successful for the maritime organisations that we are proud to champion, and we saw our truly globally leading talent honoured at our inspiring Awards ceremony in Portsmouth.
“It has been a privilege for Maritime UK Solent to provide a platform for these prestigious maritime organisations, acknowledging and celebrating remarkable achievements and the incredible talent in the Solent cluster. Congratulations go to each of our brilliant winners and the finalists of this year’s Awards.”
This year the Awards attracted even more applicants for the 13 categories, with a 20% rise in applications; plus there was a marked increase in the number of guests attending the ceremony. The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, Leader of the House of Commons, spoke about the outstanding work of the Maritime UK Solent Awards charity partner, Portsmouth Sail Training Trust.
Before the Maritime UK Solent Award winners were announced, the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Tom Coles, welcomed everybody to Portsmouth, where the ceremony was held for the first time.
The 2023 winners are:
- Global Trade Award – BAE Systems Maritime Services
- International Partner of the Year – Robosys Automation
- Diversity Champion Award – Maritime & Coastguard Agency
- Technology Game-Changer Award – Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd
- Clean Maritime Innovator Award – ABP
- Net Zero Navigator Award – Portsmouth International Port
- Employer of the Year Award – Carnival UK
- Start-up of the Year Award – Just Be Maritime Ltd
- Future Skills Award – BAE Systems
- Large Business of the Year – BAE Systems Maritime Services
- Small Business of the Year Award – NASH Maritime Ltd
- Apprentice of the Year Award – Jamie Bamforth, BAE Systems Maritime Services
- Maritime Legacy Award – Rachel Kitley
Winner of the Maritime Legacy Award, the category celebrating someone who has made a significant impact to the strength of the Solent Maritime Sector, Rachel Kitley, Principal of Cowes Enterprise College said: “I’m hugely honoured to receive the Maritime Legacy Award. Tonight’s awards have not only been an inspiring showcasing of the brilliant work underway but also of the exciting future we all have in the maritime industry and in the Solent.
“Our maritime curriculum at Cowes Enterprise College that is rolling across many schools in the country is there to support the future of the industry. The maritime industry is not just a piece of our past but an important part of our future and we’re keen to support the next generation.”
BAE had a highly successful night, winning the Global Trade, Future Skills, Large Business of the Year Awards, whilst their employee Jamie Bamforth won the coveted Apprentice of the Year Award.
Portsmouth International Port not only celebrated winning the Net Zero Navigator Award but also opened its new passenger terminal on the same day.
Ian Palacio, Business Development Director at Portsmouth International Port, said: “We’ve worked hard in the last couple of years to develop our Net Zero initiative and we’re very proud to have been recognised at the Awards for these. Prior to these Awards this evening, we had the inaugural opening of our passenger terminal annex that will be producing more energy than it will use.
“The event tonight recognises what everyone in our industry is trying to do to be the best that we can. The maritime industry in the South is the leader in the whole of the United Kingdom and probably Europe.”
The Maritime UK Solent Awards have quickly grown in repute and status, with many of the winners going on to win the national Maritime UK Awards. Organisations and businesses who sponsor them receive a great deal of coverage and prominence both regionally and internationally. To find out about being a sponsor for the Maritime UK Solent 2024 Awards, email MUKSolent@solentlep.org.uk