Humber Marine and Renewables has a new chair and is charting a course further north as it looks to take a leading role in representing the wider Yorkshire coast.
Iain Butterworth has succeeded Andrew Oliver at the helm of the regional business group. And with Mr Oliver having overseen the Team Humber Marine Alliance merger with Grimsby Renewables Partnership to create the current entity, reinforcing the pan-Humber position, the refreshed board is now looking to extend into the newly formed North Yorkshire Council region. It is seen as a strategic move to strengthen with strong competition from the North East cluster eyed, with the authority now one of more than 200 members.
Mr Butterworth is a Scarborough-based maritime lawyer, with an eponymous marine consultancy business, having started his career as a marine engineer. Stating he was filling very big shoes, he said he was “delighted to take up the mantle, supporting this fantastic industry we have got”.
Other new board members are Kurt Christensen, the current Humber Renewables champion and former Danish consul, who was an early pioneer of Grimsby’s offshore wind industry; Nick Murphy, UK sales and marketing manager of Torque Solutions; David Bacon, managing director of Grimsby’s Bacon Engineering and Rob Langton, managing director of Hull’s MMS Ship Repairs.
They join Camilla Carlbom Flinn, who is a director at Stallingborough-based Pentagon Marine – the firm that bought her family’s ships agency business – and maritime industry veteran Graham Billany, a former director of Team Humber Marine Alliance and Dunston Ship Repairs.
Jonathan Goolden, a partner at Wilkin Chapman Solicitors, and Katharine York, a manager at ORE Catapult – both based in Grimsby – step down, having played key roles in the 2022 merger as GRP directors.
Mr Butterworth, who has been involved with the organisation for more than 20 years, said: “We are a powerful advocate for the Humber and North Yorkshire and have been instrumental in the development of the offshore wind sector and regional maritime supply chain. I am proud to have been chosen to play a significant role in its future growth.
“I want to help us to expand beyond our historical geographical boundary by capitalising on our established Scarborough office and all the valuable connections the location brings. There is a large area between Tyneside, Teesside and the Humber, with many companies having the resources and potential to assist the vibrant offshore renewables industry, so we will be working to connect these businesses to bring economic benefits to the wider region and Humber Marine & Renewables further north.
“Enhancing opportunities for current members is also a key priority along with growing the membership in all the sectors that we cover.”
Humber Marine & Renewables is behind Offshore Wind Connections, the Humber’s internationally-recognised conference and exhibition, and Mr Butterworth referred to the “cornerstone” event earlier this year as he spoke at a gathering held at Ergo on Bridgehead Business Park, Hessle.
Enthusing about next year’s too, which will again feature the Humber Renewables Awards as a finale at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Hull, he said: “I went to OWC and in that conference hall we had quite a number of exhibitors and over the two days, 400 delegates attended, all from the offshore wind industry. Then I went to the Humber Renewables Awards on the night at the hotel, probably built on the back of the emerging industry on the Humber. I wondered 15 years ago how many people thought they would end up in the offshore wind business. Ten to 15 years ago we were talking about it, now we’re living it and there are so many companies actively engaged. GRP and THMA have been a part of the development of that sector in this area.”
The team has hosted more than 30 international delegations while putting on 100 key events in its time since 2005.
He also revealed funding has been secured through East Riding of Yorkshire Council to create a strategic adviser position, with an interim to be announced shortly.
Andrew Oliver praised for ‘astonishing job’ in uniting Humber
Welcoming Mr Butterworth, and opening proceedings at the networking event, Kurt Christensen said: “We have to thank our outgoing chair, Andrew Oliver, who has done an astonishing job over the three years since Covid in bringing together Team Humber Marine Alliance and Grimsby Renewables Partnership.”
In a light-hearted look at the political and tribal ramblings within the region, he said: “It is a task he took on. We all know the North Bank and the South Bank have not been renowned for their good relationship. It is a relationship that ranges anywhere from looking at each other as natural combatants in industry to pathological hatred of each other, but he has galvanised the team, steadied the ship and done a brilliant job.
“When you look at the growth from when wind power first came to the Humber in 2007 to where we are now, we know why there is fierce competition from the North East and down in Lowestoft.
“We have got the Siemens wind plant here that has grown at some rate and Grimsby has gone from nowhere to the world’s biggest operations and maintenance facility – all done with the dedication of a team we now have as part of the merged organisation. It is due in no small part to Andrew Oliver. He has put hundreds of hours in for nothing.
“We are now able to replace Andrew with Iain Butterworth, who has a wealth of experience in the marine sector.”
Mr Oliver stepped in following the departure of Mark O’Reilly in late 2020, who served for a decade.
Camilla Carlbom Flinn added: “Our new board has a vast array of industry skills and international connections, and we are thrilled to have such a strong team in place for the next chapter of our development.
“I want to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank Andrew Oliver, Jonathan Goolden and Kathryn York for their fantastic contribution over the last three years.”
The death of founding board member Frank Butterfield, owner of the successful marine satellite communications company Best Service (Europe) Limited, back in July, was also mentioned, with tribute paid to his “tenacity, enthusiasm, and unfettered time served”, by Mr Butterworth.
Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber