The University’s new-look Maritime Knowledge Hub in Wirral which will support training, enterprise and manufacturing has been formally opened by UK Shipping Minister Robert Goodwill MP.
The new facility, operated jointly by Mersey Maritime and the University will be a global centre of excellence within the UK, bringing together the region’s key maritime assets, generating knowledge-led growth and innovation and creating a focal point for research and development, education, training and business support.
The hub will include a state-of-the-art facility to help manufacturers design, test and build products or services as well as providing serviced business start-up space and support, an offshore survival centre and marine simulation centre.
The launch of the hub comes at a time when the marine and maritime sectors are quickly growing, allowing strong opportunities for the UK to capture an increased share of the global market valued at more than £3000 billion.
The region has one of the largest clusters of maritime businesses and supply chains in Europe spanning some 1,300 businesses. Within the Liverpool City Region, the sector generates around £3.5bn of sales and contributes to 12% of the region’s GDP.
Shipping Minister Robert Goodwill said: “I am delighted to have opened the first phase of this new state-of-the-art hub which will help create skilled maritime jobs on Merseyside. This partnership between private, public and academic organisations is key to ensuring that our next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs are ready to succeed.
“Merseyside has a rich maritime history and the future is looking bright thanks to major projects such as the Maritime Knowledge Hub and the deep water container terminal Liverpool2 at the Port of Liverpool. The Government will continue to offer its full support to the maritime industry, a sector which is vitally important to the UK economy."
Professor Ahmed Al-Shamma’a, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology at LJMU, said: “The scale of the opportunity for our region is massive but we do have a skills gap. It’s essential to develop the talent that local firms and wider industry need to grow and compete, and the Knowledge Hub will help deliver that."