The Isle of Wight and in particular, the Medina, has long been seen as a home to all things marine: the invention, construction and only remaining operation of the hovercraft, flying boats and more recently cutting edge foot-passenger ferry manufacture has sat alongside the marine leisure offer epitomised by Cowes.
The well paid skilled jobs provided in the marine industry have kept generations of islanders gainfully employed. The council wants to better understand the marine sector on the Island and the challenges it faces. The Isle of Wight Council’s regeneration team has produced a detailed report on the Medina Valley, focussing on the Marine and Composites Sector.
The report will raise the profile of the island contribution to a key sector of the broader Solent economy now and in the future. It sets out the economic benefits the sector provides and highlights the need for modern manufacturing premise to help its future growth.
Key growth opportunities
The expansion of demand for wind farm service boats in the UK and Europe is highlighted as one of the growth opportunities Island firms could exploit. The study assesses the range of sites available in the Medina Valley for the development of new facilities benchmarking against competitors in Norfolk and Pembrokeshire. The level of skills in the industry that exist on the island is highlighted as key strength.
Seeking government funding
The study recommends the council seek funding to address the infrastructure issues connected with some of the existing and potential sites. The report will be used to support a bid for government funding, as part of the islands recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.