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06.10.06
Penzance Harbour users event

Cornwall has a world-class marine sector, building everything from millionaires' superyachts to beautifully hand-crafted wooden boats. It is home to a large and thriving ship repair yard at Falmouth Docks. There are sailmakers, chandlers, marine engineers, marine electronics suppliers, vessel surveyors, fuel suppliers, passenger ferries, water taxis, yacht charters, dive instructors, surf equipment providers and many more. Thousands of people in Cornwall work directly in the marine world, and many thousands of others depend indirectly on its continued success.

The Cornwall Marine Network is the only organisation in Cornwall which works exclusively to support, represent and promote all these marine businesses (other than commercial fishing). It is a membership-based organisation, based at Falmouth Docks. Currently it has 200 members who between them account for more than 80 per cent of the turnover of the sector.

CMN started life in 2002 as a voluntary organisation when several local businesses got together and decided the industry needed a single voice. It moved up a gear when it was awarded, in the spring of 2005, an Objective One European funded package worth in total more than £1m. This is currently being spent to help its members - with sales and marketing initiatives - to increase their turnover and create new jobs.

The Network is now working increasingly to develop training programmes to help bring more young people into the marine industry, to plug current and future skills gaps, and to ultimately increase the size of the skilled labour force. It has accessed funding which assists marine businesses (especially the high number of businesses which employ less than 10 people) to overcome barriers to training and represents the sector throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Alan Shepherd, Chief Executive of the Network, and himself a resident of St Ives, is anxious that this representation – which covers more than 83% of Cornwall's marine sector by turnover – be seen to be geographically inclusive and that businesses in the far west of Cornwall benefit from all the activity that is going on. The Network has succeeded in ensuring that marine is regarded in plans for future European funding both within Cornwall and the wider South West as a 'priority sector' for investment. Accordingly, he welcomes the opportunity to talk to Penzance Harbour Users (together with Newlyn, the second largest marine 'cluster' in the Cornwall) and all other interested marine businesses from Porthleven round to St Ives and Hayle, at the Dive Club, Penzance Harbour from 7.30 pm on Wednesday, October 11th to discuss the ways in which the Network's advice and support can benefit all of Cornwall's vital marine businesses.

For further information please contact Alan Shepherd at the Cornwall Marine Network on 01326 211382 or email alan.shepherd@cornwallmarine.net.

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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