The Port of Cromarty Firth is celebrating after being named Business of the Year and Coastal Powerhouse at the prestigious Maritime UK Awards.
The Port’s double win at the UK-wide maritime industry awards was announced at an event streamed live online from Plymouth due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Maritime UK Awards are held with the aim of celebrating businesses and organisations across the maritime industry throughout the whole of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, from leisure to shipping, professional services to ports and engineering to advanced manufacturing.
The Port was also shortlisted for Clean Maritime Enabler, as was Chief Executive Bob Buskie for Maritime Professional of the Year.
Bob Buskie said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won not just one but two awards at the Maritime UK Awards. For the Port to land Business of the Year, beating two highly-respected Ports in the UK maritime industry, Peel Ports Group and Portsmouth International Port, is fantastic.
“To also be named Coastal Powerhouse, ahead of PD Ports and Solent LEP who have both made significant positive impacts within their respective coastal communities, is an amazing achievement and firmly puts us on the map as a force to be reckoned with in the UK maritime sector.
“Port of Cromarty Firth is driven to develop, improve and safeguard the Cromarty Firth for the benefit of all stakeholders. As a national strategic asset, we are extremely proud of the contribution which the Port makes to the economic prosperity of the Highland region, Scotland and the UK.
“There are just over 30 full-time staff at our Trust Port, yet we facilitate £275m a year in economic activity and create employment opportunities for one in six local people.
“In the past seven years we have doubled our capacity, turnover, profit and employees, and have reinvested over £55m into the Port’s development. This has helped to create high quality modern facilities, aligned to the requirements of our primary business sectors – offshore wind, oil and gas, and cruise. We continue to work tirelessly to support these essential sectors and their supply chains.
“The future is also bright. We are leading an initiative called Opportunity Cromarty Firth, aimed at creating a post-Brexit Free Trade Zone. The project aims to stimulate economic activity and employment, attract inward investment and equip the region with skills to bring transformational regeneration. It aims to realise the full potential of the multi-billion pound offshore wind projects to be constructed off our shores.
“We are proud to be an economic driver of huge significance in the Cromarty Firth and of the success we bring to the Highlands. We will continue to work hard in the years ahead to build on this legacy.
“These Maritime UK Awards are fantastic at showcasing the positive impact the Ports industry has on our local areas, regions and the country. The industry has been in the spotlight more than usual during the Covid-19 pandemic and our key workers have kept the country supplied with food, energy and critical medical supplies. It was wonderful to be able to celebrate and reflect on that hard work together with our peers.”
Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK, said: “Across all 14 award categories we can see some genuinely world-beating products, services, and operators. The quality of entries this year is testament to the strength and commitment of our maritime sector to be world-class despite the most challenging of circumstances.”