The thriving yachting scene in the Solent is literally on our doorstep and we all know about Cowes and Hamble. But not everyone knows that on the sheltered western shore of Portsmouth Harbour, Gosport is home to the biggest concentration of yachts and services on the south coast. In 2013 the network – Gosport Marine Scene – was set up to give a voice to the 160+ marine businesses. Here are some of the questions we’re frequently asked.
What is Gosport Marine Scene (GMS) for?
We are raising the profile of Gosport as the yachting centre with everything: riggers, slipways, shipwrights, sailmakers, boatlifts, drydocks, and chandlers – it really is all here. We want boaters to be able to plug into all these services, but we also put the businesses in touch with each other, through industry visits, meetings and the Famous Curry Lunches.
Who do you work with?
We work with other organisations who share our goals. Gosport Borough Council and the Coastal Community Team play very important roles. We work with all the schools and colleges in Gosport, with UKSA, and of course with the sailing clubs. We support Alex Thomson and 5° West, our home-grown ocean racers, and of course Sir Ben Ainslie in his battle for the America’s Cup.
Who is being paid and how much?
We are a non-profit organisation, a community interest company; nobody gets paid anything. At present we spend very little and most of our activities like the annual Boat Jumble are self-financing. We have been able to do a tremendous amount on a shoestring, with support in kind and modest sponsorship. The inaugural Gosport Marine Festival in 2015 through which we got 750 local young people afloat, most for the first time, was an £80,000 event delivered for less than £8,000. However, we are developing more ambitious plans and we shall need to generate more funds accordingly.
And the rising generation?
Growing the marine economy means jobs and careers. We are encouraging schools and colleges to run the courses that will skill-up the next generation of workers. First we’ve got to get the young people interested, which is partly what the Marine Festivals in 2015 and 2017 are about. This year we are running Gosport Marine Futures, a six-month programme culminating in the Small Ships Race in August, through which ten young people from Gosport will be able to experience sailing and employment in the marine sector. Visit www.gosportmarinefestival.org.uk
GMS Directors and Advisers
Gosport Marine Scene CIC Directors:
Peter Melson – Chairman
Mark Bowden – Marina Projects
Lucy Gross – Association of Sail Training Organisations
Tony Higham – Founding Director GMS
Tim Newell – Premier Marinas
Richard Reddyhoff – Dean & Reddhoff Marinas
Gosport Marine Scene Advisers:
Richard Baker-Jones – Secretary
John Beavis – Gosport Borough Councillor
Ben Lippiett – Haslar Marina
Mike Shepherd – Marine Advertising Agency
Ian Bridges – Gosport Borough Council
Sam Vaughan – Seldén Mast Ltd
Peter Newell – Gosport Charity Pursuit