Portsmouth has strong historical marine connections stretching back over the centuries, primarily through its role as Britain’s premier naval base.

The Marine Cluster Validation Study (2005) by the University of Portsmouth, commissioned as part of the City Growth Portsmouth Strategy, identified today’s marine sector as comprising:

  • defence marine
  • recreational marine
  • transport marine
  • fisheries marine

In total over 7,000 people work in 250 organisations in the city and these figures increase to 13,300 and 800 respectively for the city region. Companies currently based in Portsmouth include BAE Systems, Brittany Ferries, McMurdo, Premier Marinas, QinetiQ, Rolls-Royce, Sunsail and Wightlink.

For more information, email business@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or phone the Business Services team on 023 9284 1074.

Economic impact of Portsmouth dockyard

The Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH), working with the Solent LEP and Portsmouth University, has commissioned a highly significant and independent report looking at the Socio-Economic Assessment of Portsmouth Naval Base (2012).

The report assesses the Dockyard’s current economic impact and includes economic forecasts in three potential scenarios:

  • Shipbuilding continues at its current level, and all aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates are base-ported at Portsmouth.
  • Shipbuilding at Portsmouth ceases, aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates are base-ported and carry out all deep maintenance at Portsmouth.
  • Reduction in shipbuilding occurs but no additional ships are moved to Portsmouth.

A key finding of the report is that the Portsmouth Naval Base overall generates annually an output of £1.68bn and supports both directly and indirectly 19,775 FTE (full-time equivalent) jobs. The Base itself provides employment for an estimated 11,900 people in the area, 60 per cent of whom are civilian employees working for a raft of defence dependant companies and directly for the MoD.

Marine support and useful information

  • Marine South East – a business-led consortium developed to address the needs of the marine sector in the South East region. Created to tackle critical issues affecting marine businesses in the region and support the economic development of the marine sector in the South East. Provides a key information resource for marine companies including details of networking events, a database of businesses, an information library plus news and information on the marine sector in the South East. Alternatively call 02380 111 590.
  • Department for International Trade (DIT)– marine sector – government department helping businesses trade overseas. It provides essential export advice and expertise through a network of locally based International trade advisers and Trade Development Officers at British embassies, consulates and High Commissions worldwide.
  • Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) – funded by the government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, providing manufacturing business support for companies based in England, helping them improve and grow. Call 0845 658 9600.

British Marine Federation

Marine House
Thorpe Lea Road
TW20 8BF

Tel: 01784 473377

Email: info@britishmarine.co.uk

Website: www.britishmarine.co.uk

The British Marine Federation is the trade association for the British boating industry which aims to create, develop and maintain high quality services, benefits and commercial activities to promote the marine industry and its products.

Services Include:

  • Technical Advice
  • Health & Safety Guidance
  • Legal Service
  • Statistics & Market Research
  • Training Services and Courses
  • Access to Training Grants
  • Financial Support to help members attend overseas boat shows
  • Member exhibitor discounts at BMF run UK boat shows including Southampton and London.

Area: County Wide


Tel: 01590 673689

E-mail: maritime@tcp.co.uk

Website: www.marinesoutheast.co.uk/marenet/

MareNet is a forum for marine communities to feedback their ideas and interests for future network activities. The programme is tailored specifically to respond to the requirements of local marine businesses.

MareNet seeks to present a clear view by focusing purely on marine interests. Part of the MareNet service is to also signpost and inform marine businesses about opportunities available to them.

Services Include:

  • Events and networking with like-minded marine businesses
  • Forum for sharing knowledge, advice and help
  • Information on business support and funding opportunities
  • Advice and consultation on government and policy issues directly affecting the marine sector
  • Advice on skills upgrading through training including marine-specific customised courses and workshops

Area: County Wide

Marine South East

Chilworth Business Incubator
2 Venture Road
Southampton Science Park
SO16 7NP

Tel: 02380 111 590

E-mail: admin@marinesoutheast.co.uk

Website: www.marinesoutheast.co.uk

Marine South East is the regional marine initiative of the South East of England Development Agency (SEEDA) developed to address the needs of the marine sector in the South East region.

Services Include:

Area: South East Region

Manufacturing Advisory Service

MAS South East
Station Road
RG27 9TL

Tel: 0845 6092121

Email: info@mas-se.org.uk

MAS is one of the Government’s Solutions for Business suite of offerings, jointly funded by BIS (The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) and the nine English Regional Development Agencies. Provides hands on practical support for manufacturing companies

The Solent Marine Community

To find out more, contact The Southampton Enterprise Hub:

2 Venture Road
Southampton Science Park
SO16 7NP

Tel: 02380 76 3794

Email: info@southamptonhub.com

Website: www.marinesoutheast.co.uk/nets/#Solent

The Solent Marine Community aims to build a sustainable, industry-led and collaborative commercial group, within which Solent companies can co-operate to achieve common goals and to improve international competitiveness.

Nine micro-clusters have been launched to date and companies have been recruited to each. The Solent Marine Community is also looking to attract further industry members to each category:-

  • Composites & coatings
  • Marine systems and propulsion
  • Underwater vehicles and subsea systems
  • Marine environment and pollution control
  • Port services
  • Ship repair
  • Leisure Marine
  • Marine transport
  • Marinas and Berths

Each micro-cluster has its own dedicated business champion, expert facilitator, and funding that can provide a pump-priming resource for specific projects and activities. New cluster ideas are also welcome for consideration.

Local marinas and ports

Gunwharf Quays Marina

Port Solent Marina

Southsea Marina

Portsmouth Commercial Port

Port of Southampton

Marine trade bodies and organisations

British Marine Federation

Chamber of Shipping

Defence Export Support Organisation

International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA)

International Council of Cruise Lines

Subsea UK

Superyacht UK

Yacht Brokers, Designers and Surveyors Association