Marine businesses support CMN growth

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Members of Cornwall Marine Network (CMN) have unanimously approved a new initiative to help grow the organisation.

At its recent AGM at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, the CMN board proposed a special resolution which sought permission for member businesses to provide working capital to CMN by purchasing debentures, in return for an advantageous interest rate.

Chairman, Peter Child, said: “We are very grateful that members will be supporting the next exciting phase of growth for CMN, which will result in more services and growth for the marine businesses we support. The CMN support team was created by the employers who formed CMN”.

“We shared our ‘killer statistic’ with members which is that on average, every single working day the CMN team has existed since they started in 2005, they have either created a new job in the local sector or placed an unemployed person into work somewhere in Cornwall.

“The statistic is mind-blowing, with more than 1,650 new jobs, 1,350 new apprenticeships and 600 unemployed people supported into jobs. These new jobs have added more than £300 million of value to Cornwall’s economy. These successes have been without precedent in Cornwall and the wider UK marine sector and only possible because of the vision of our managers and our fantastic staff team.”

CEO, Paul Wickes MBE, added: “The vote marks a significant milestone in the history of CMN and will ensure our resilience despite the uncertainties of Brexit. We planned a five-year growth strategy immediately after the referendum, and by the end of 2021 we will see the level of services we provide to our members triple over this period.

“We all understand that cash flow constraints often prevent most small businesses from growing. In the past CMN has been able to keep growing because Cornwall Council had the foresight to provide us with a working capital loan as they want what we all want, a world-class thriving marine and maritime sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This vote now means we will be able to access an even wider range of projects, providing more support to the very businesses who will be funding this new investment.”

CMN is owned by more than 300 local marine businesses and the CMN staff team support marine businesses who are members to grow by increasing skills, productivity, helping them implement innovation in products and processes and improving marketing.

The local marine sector is now worth £1.12 billion per year to Cornwall’s economy and CMN members have been the largest contributor to this growth. The details of the debenture offer will be issued to all CMN member businesses before the end of this financial year.