Newsletter | April 2020

In this issue:

  • Covid 19: support, webinar, resources, business need questionnaire and £20M innovation challenge
  • Cluster update and welcome to new Sponsors and Strategic Partners
  • SW Aquaculture Network created
  • Investment in floating offshore wind from Total
  • R&D tax credits
  • New Institutes of Technology in the South West

If you have content for the newsletter please contact

Business information and support for Covid-19

You can find general advice and guidance for businesses in response to COVID-19 at your local Growth Hub. Growth Hubs are local partnerships that join up national and local business support in England to make it easier for businesses to find the help that they need. They are supported and resourced by government to act as a source of business support and advice.

Devon and Somerset – Heart of the South West Growth Hub
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Growth Hub
Dorset Growth Hub

In many cases local authorities (your local council) will have funds also.

Maritime UK partners have sub-sector specific advice at

Maritime UK are also holding a webinar on Wednesday 8 April, “Managing Maritime Cash Flow” which should be relevant to organisations and businesses of all sizes from across the sector. Information available here.

Read more

Covid-19: National Maritime Business Taskforce and Questionnaire

Maritime UK South West are part of  a national Maritime Business Continuity Taskforce (MBCT) which has been established to signpost business support available to the maritime sector, identify key issues and barriers to access, and to ensure that support is sustained also in the medium and long-term.

To enable us to better understand and support the Ocean Economy needs please could we ask that you take 3 minutes to fill out the questionnaire at the following link the result will be shared with the national taskforce and local government stakeholders.

Help find new ways to ease global disruption from Covid 19: apply for funding

UK businesses can apply for a share of £20 million in a fast-track competition to develop new ways to tackle global disruption such as that caused by COVID-19.
The project needs to be a clearly innovative and ambitious idea. It would need to be realistic and significantly meet either:

  • a societal need that has emerged or increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • the need of an industry that has been severely impacted and/or permanently disrupted.

Transport is one of the highlighted areas within the scope and we hope for some great ideas.The competition is open today and closes on the 17th of April.

Find out more here.

PKF Francis Clark Corona Virus Hub

Maritime UK South West Strategic Partner PKF Francis Clark have pooled together their experts’ advice and sources of support in one place. This should make it easier for you to find useful information and to know what your next steps are at this challenging time.

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Maritime UK South West Update

The cluster has been working with national and regional partners to help understand and coordinate the sector specific response to Covid-19 and in addition to this we continue to be very active in pursuing our shared mission of lobbying, promoting and developing our Ocean Economy here in the South West.

This quarter we officially joined Maritime UK and are making good use of this affiliation by forging stronger links into Government and national programmes. We are mid-rebrand from South Coast Marine Cluster to Maritime UK South West (website and social media to change in the coming weeks) and while we have had to postpone a number of sector events we are working on new dates and on creating digital means of enabling collaboration, access to support and networking for the sector.

Read more
Heart of the south west LEP - Newsletter | April 2020

Maritime UK South West welcomes new Sponsors and Strategic Partners

Maritime UK South West has been supported for the last three years by the three Local Enterprise Partnerships of the South West and by the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter. In order to ramp up business facing activity the cluster offered a Strategic Partner or Sponsorship model for 2020.
We are now delighted to welcome our new Strategic Partners and Sponsors for 2020. We look forward to working with you to help support the South West Ocean Economy.

Strategic Partners
PKF Francis Clark, Haines Watts, South Devon College, Marine Business Technology Centre, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, University of Plymouth, University of Exeter, Met Office, Plymouth City Council, Enterprise Europe Network, BMT, Heart of the South West LEP, Cornwall and the isles of Scilly LEP and Dorset LEP.

Royal Haskoning DHV, ARC Marine, Applied Genomics, CMS Geotech, Oceans HQ, VASPBA Remote Piloted Systems Ltd, Partrac, Cefas, Coltraco Ultrasonics, Bartons, City College Plymouth, C-Stem

To find out how to become a cluster Sponsor or Strategic Partner read the full story at our website.

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Have you Switched on to R&D Tax Credits?

R&D Tax Credits are a Government incentive designed to reward innovation and accelerate growth in UK Companies.

Claims can be made in respect of previous accounting periods (up to 2 years) and you can even benefit if you are making a loss. If a company spends time and money on developing new products, services or processes or enhancing existing ones, then it could make a claim for R&D tax relief.

R&D takes place in any sector and although it was introduced 20 years ago, there are lots of qualifying companies that have not made a claim yet.

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South West Aquaculture Network established

The South West Aquaculture Network (SWAN) was formally established following work from Maritime UK SW partners over 2019. SWAN, which will link into the work of Maritime UK brings together stakeholders from across a wide variety of marine sectors with an interest in aquaculture. The sector now provides over 50% of global demand for protein from seafood and the South West of England, with extensive coastline and good quality water, gives investors and stakeholders the ideal opportunity to help meet those demands. The network will meet quarterly and brings together offshore renewables, maritime, research and aquaculture stakeholders to help drive sustainable development across the region.

Read more
Heart of the south west LEP - Newsletter | April 2020

Institutes of Technology Announced for the South West

It’s an exciting time for skills across the region, as two Institute of Technology bids are announced as part of 12 nationwide locations approved by the Government. Exeter and Plymouth University, Penwith, Truro, City College Plymouth, Bridgwater and Taunton, Petroc, Yeovil and Exeter college are part of FE and HE collaborations set to receive part of the £170million funding to develop Institutes of Technology delivering new vocational and technical learning pathways.

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Great news! Floating Offshore Wind Investment in Celtic Sea

Floating offshore wind is on the way. UK-based energy developer Simply Blue Energy, and Total, one of the world’s largest energy companies, have established a partnership to develop floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea.

The Celtic Sea lies to the south of Wales, to the north of Devon and Cornwall and stretches as far west as Ireland and south to the coast of Brittany.

Read more
Heart of the south west LEP - Newsletter | April 2020

Request for Ocean Economy video footage for MUKSW promotional video

Maritime UK South West plan to produce a short video for use by cluster partners. The aim of the video is to promote the Ocean Economy in the SW and our key centres of excellence in particular around offshore renewables, autonomy and geospatial data and clean ocean economy. It is likely to be both expensive and difficult (with Covid restrictions in place) to organise a large amount of bespoke new filming. We therefore request anyone with existing footage that they would like to be included to get in contact.
Please write to describing your footage. Please no large files by email!