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08.09.05
Boat Show Boost For Cornish Firms

Four Cornish firms are hoping to make a big impression on the international stage later this month as early beneficiaries of the recently re-launched Cornwall Marine Network (CMN).

The network, a non-profit-making concern, is providing new marketing and training initiatives for its namesake industry with the aid of £1.25 million investment from organisations including Objective One.

In its biggest single support project since the re-launch in May, CMN is providing financial assistance for attendance at the Southampton Boat Show (September 16-25), by The Real Boat Company, of Mylor, Select Yachts, Wadebridge, Cockwells and Rustler Yachts, both of Falmouth.

Both the Real Boat Company and Cockwells will be making their debuts at the big Southampton event. As part of the support package, CMN and a Cornwall Business School trainer have provided a sales training course for Cockwells employees. Other support has included financial aid for attending the show, general advice and tips on exhibiting.

The Real Boat Company was set up early this year to supply skippered charter on the restored Bristol pilot cutter Marian. "The Cornwall Marine Network's guidance on marketing in the charter industry has been invaluable," said managing director Jim Goddard, "and their funding is enabling us to take part in the Southampton Boat Show, which will be instrumental in promoting our services to future clients. What's more, they are willing to assist with staff training to develop the business even further. All in all they have been hugely supportive of our business."

Fellow debutants Cockwells are modern and classic boat builders specialising in the construction and restoration of wooden yachts. "We are delighted to have been selected as one of the 'top ten' features at the Boat Show and CMN has helped make that happen," said owner Dave Cockwell. "Their financial assistance and exhibition experience have enabled us to make a really big impression at the show and providing our team with sales training has been a real added bonus."

Rustler Yachts, builders of high quality blue water cruising yachts, will be exhibiting their Rustler 36 and 42 on berth numbers 268 and 269 this year. Their move to new premises over a year ago has enabled them to expand their business to include yacht refit and maintenance, winter lay-up and brokerage. "We are extremely happy to have some financial support from Cornwall Marine Network to exhibit at the Boat Show this year," said managing director Nick Offord. "It is our biggest showcase for the yachts that we produce and will also enable us to promote our refit and maintenance side to our business."

Karen Colam, spokesperson for Select Yachts, commented: "Southampton Boat Show is an expensive but exciting and fun experience for all concerned. We have made the decision to focus our marketing activities on this show alone in the future as London Boat Show has just become rather too big for us. The CMN is contributing towards the cost of our marketing material, which is very gratefully received."

CMN marketing manager Tim Bowerbank said: "Southampton Boat Show is a splendid international stage for presenting Cornwall's finest to the world. It's a great opportunity for our members to get their products in front of a wide range of potential clients and we wish them good luck at the big event." The Boat Show support is the first in a series of CMN marketing and training initiatives to be staged in the coming months.

The CMN funding boost has also included support from the Learning and Skills Council, South West of England Regional Development Agency, Marine South West and Cornwall Enterprise. At CMN's relaunch, the funding boost was hailed as unprecedented and an historic opportunity to significantly expand Cornwall's marine industry. Until now the industry has lacked structured marketing and training programmes and a co-ordinated development plan for its future.

For further information please contact Tim Bowerbank or Wendy Pascoe on 01326 377648.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Cornwall Marine Network through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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Editor's notes:

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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