Marine leisure comes under spotlight

THE Haven Gateway Partnership has commissioned a study to assess the importance of marine leisure to the economy of the Haven Gateway area. The Haven Gateway, which covers around 1,200 square kilometres of northeast Essex and southeast Suffolk, is one of the UK's most popular areas for yachts and leisure craft with an estimated 10,000 leisure moorings.

THE Haven Gateway Partnership has commissioned a study to assess the importance of marine leisure to the economy of the Haven Gateway area.

The Haven Gateway, which covers around 1,200 square kilometres of northeast Essex and southeast Suffolk, is one of the UK's most popular areas for yachts and leisure craft with an estimated 10,000 leisure moorings.

Although the importance of commercial port activities to the Haven Gateway's economy is regularly highlighted, there has been no local study to date looking at the economic impact of the marine leisure sector on the sub-region.

The study will be carried out by Dedham-based recruitment and training consultants Akenham.


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“The leisure sector in the Haven Gateway is quite spread out - including inland water like Alton Water as well as the estuaries and the sea,” said Will Sambrook, Akenham director.

“People tend to think of a particular marina in isolation and don't see the value of the whole sector. We tend to see boats sitting there and don't think of the fact that the boats need maintaining and mooring, or consider that the people on them have come from somewhere. But if you join up all of the related activities, you find a very sizeable sector.

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“Our study will quantify its economic impact and review the contribution of associated tourism. We will review sectors including engineering/manufacturing, distribution, retail, brokerage, marinas, moorings, boatyard services, leisure boating and charter services.

“The aim is to provide a clear sector definition of the industry - identifying its value, clarifying the number and value of marine leisure businesses in the area and reviewing potential future developments.”

Akenham will carry out a second parallel study that will focus on the skills needed in the marine leisure sector and identify where there is a real or potential shortage of these skills in the Haven Gateway sub-region.

If key skills gaps are identified, the Haven Gateway Partnership will commission a feasibility study into setting up a skills academy to serve the sector.

The current studies are due for completion by September 2006 and are funded by the East of England Development Agency through the Haven Gateway's Investing in Communities project.

Anyone interested in contributing their views and experience to the studies should contact the Haven Gateway project manager Richard Morton on 01206 848416 or email richard.morton@haven-gateway.org

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