The British Marine Federation’s South West region brought together over 60 key representatives from industry, marine and local businesses at its Conference and AGM, held at South Devon College, in Paignton on 10th February. The event was sponsored by Hayes Parsons, Bartons Solicitors, and Boatshed Dartmouth.

The South West has seen plenty of activity during 2012 with a 15% increase in new members in 2011, the launch of a new website, and a successful ‘Try a Boat’ event held in May. The region’s growth and activities were congratulated by the British Marine Federation’s Chairman Alan Morgan, who also spoke about the BMF‘s activities nationally and internationally.

The AGM was followed by the conference, which included round table discussion on key business sectors, enabling delegates to gain useful and practical information and support for their businesses. Subjects included the superyacht sector, renewables, export, HR recruitment and retention, waste management, legal and business support, sources of finance, and boat registration.

Each discussion group was hosted by a facilitator and a specialist, including Stephen Reynolds from Barclays Corporate, Neil Stallard from Alpha Logic Waste Management, Nick Kirsop-Taylor from REGEN SW, Andrew Storey from Credit Protection Association, Tom Reed from Scanstrut, and Tom Chant from BMF Superyacht UK.

Three 45 minute sessions enabled delegates to move between tables, ensuring plenty of lively discussions and useful networking opportunities. Ben Sharp, from Devon-based electronics manufacturer Sharp & Tappin Technology Ltd said, “The day was well planned at an excellent venue and proved to be a very valuable networking opportunity. I have already attended one follow up meeting with one of the companies I met there with a positive outcome.

The discussion topics were relevant to current business issues and the specialists on the tables were very helpful. It was an excellent opportunity to meet fellow BMF members and it also re reinforced that we should use the BMF services as a resource more frequently.”

Following the conference, there was a short presentation by marine apprentices from South Devon College, and delegates had the opportunity to tour the college’s boat building and repair facilities at Noss.

BMF South West’s Chairman Will Blagdon said, “This was the second year that we have held this style of conference with round table discussions and networking at our AGM, and it has again proved very successful. Attendees had the benefit of hearing about the BMF’s activities and support for its members from the very top, and could also take the opportunity to raise the pertinent questions and issues facing them in their businesses. I’d like to thank all the experts for their time and support, our sponsors, and our secretary Paul Singer who organised the majority of this event.”

The next key event being organised by BMF South West, in conjunction with South Devon Marine, is the On the Water event, taking place on 2nd and 3rd June at the South Embankment, Dartmouth.

For further information on the BMF please contact, BMF SW Secretary & Treasurer, Paul Singer, Boatshed Dartmouth, Tel 01803 867578 or 07710 426754 or email

For further press information, please contact ADPR Ltd, Polly Tyekiff: or Alice Driscoll: or Tel 01460 241641 or 07971 019377.