British Marine seeks answers for show cancellation

Following the cancellation of BOATS2020 on the eve of the event, British Marine has issued a statement saying it is seeking further clarification from Southampton City Council with regard to the reasons for the late notice of decision.

British Marine says it had been assured by Southampton City Council that BOATS2020 was in complete compliance with current UK Government guidelines as well as the new rules set to come into effect on Monday 14 September. However, despite this, it is understood that Southampton City Council’s last-minute decision to cancel the event was made after taking advice from its Director of Public Health and was due to the perceived risk of an increase in Covid-19 cases.

As a consequence, British Marine is appealing to the Secretary of State for Public Health and the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport about the decision and the Direction under Regulation 5(1) of the Health Protection Regulations 2020 that was served to the event, with a view to understand the options available to recompense British Marine exhibitors and stakeholders.

“British Marine has done everything in its power to stage BOATS2020 and we followed all Southampton City Council’s stringent requirements,” says Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine. “We are appealing the decision to seek further insight into the cancellation. I am disappointed and surprised on behalf of our exhibitors and show stakeholders, especially receiving the news so close to the opening.”

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One response to “British Marine seeks answers for show cancellation”

  1. The decision to cancel the Southampton Boat Show then resurrect it overnight to become BOATS2020 which was then cancelled, was badly conceived. I nearly booked a non-refundable hotel booking coming down from Essex and it was just lucky that I checked that I found out the Soton Boat show had been cancelled. I thought it was madness to try and press ahead with re-branding the show and calling it BOATS2020. I had decided not to come, and I am glad I did.

    These actions certainly damaged the Southampton Boat Shows image and British Marine will have their work out to restore confidence in their management. However, I suspect some boat-builders became the tail wagging the dog. There was always the risk of a second wave of COVID-19 and it was NO surprise that BOATS2020 was pulled. It also makes the industry look desperate for sales and if customers are being asked to part with large sums of money to buy a boat that is not the right image to put across. ‘Could do better’ as the headmaster used to say. The marine industry trade body are starting to look dangerously like that other organisation crashing from crisis to crisis, Boris, and his government.