Cornwall Marine Network (CMN) has sealed a strategic alliance with the South Coast Marine Cluster to create Maritime UK South West.

As part of the new alliance, CMN has been appointed to the national council of Maritime UK (MUK), with the first national council board meeting of the year taking place last week in the presence of MUK’s national Patron, HRH the Princess Royal.

CMN chief executive, Paul Wickes, said: “The Cornish marine sector is in the best strategic position it’s been in for years, adding £1.12 billion annually to Cornwall’s economy, with more than 900 businesses and 16,000 people employed.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to provide a voice for the needs of Cornish businesses at the industry’s top table.”

He added: “Cornwall’s marine businesses have an integral role to play in the future of UK maritime. I am confident the Cornish marine sector will continue to thrive as we maximise the influence and opportunities this new regional and national connection will bring. Reaching outside of Cornwall and influencing future strategy will ensure we strengthen our support for members in Cornwall, especially after our departure from the EU.”

On the expansion into the wider south west, Wickes said: “The team at CMN is delighted to be working with our friends at South West Marine Cluster and Maritime UK to develop Maritime UK South West. CMN will use this opportunity to further develop stronger ties to Government, provide a commercial voice to policy makers, develop and support more commercial opportunities, all aimed at increasing trade and investment for local businesses.”