New Maritime and Transport Action Group for southern UK

Business South has launched a new action group to shine a spotlight on the UK’s central south region for businesses in the maritime, transport, infrastructure and ports industries.

Led by Fran Collins (pictured), chief executive of Red Funnel and Gary Whittle, director of Meachers Global Logistics, the Maritime and Transport Action Group will focus on addressing shore-side priorities, opportunities and challenges faced by maritime and transport industries in the central south, including the Solent Freeport, local infrastructure, skills and employment, connectivity and the environmental agenda.

Other members already include Southampton Airport, Hampshire County Council, Carnival, Solent University, Portsmouth International Port and Solent LEP.

Previously known as the Cruise & Port Forum, the new group has been launched in response to changes in the region, reflecting on the central south as a gateway to and from the UK. 

The action group aims to create investment and development, attract talent to the region and promote it as a UK gateway.

One of the Business South action groups, it aims to connect the region to influence policy, drive change and create opportunities for industries across sea, air, rail and land.

Fran Collins, chair of the Maritime and Transport Action Group, says: “Our vision is to work collaboratively with business leaders, representing some of the most influential organisations in our sector. We are inviting new members to join to help deliver measurable actions that will help create investment and development, attract talent to the region and promote the Central South region as a UK gateway.”

Steve Szalay, operations director at Southampton Airport, comments: “I’m delighted to be part of the Maritime and Transport Action Group. The airport exists to provide connectivity to the region for people and business, so it’s great to hear from major businesses regarding the routes and connectivity they need to support and grow their businesses. What’s good for the region is good for the airport.”

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