Festival highlights Plymouth’s strength in marine sector
Plymouth Marine City Festival has been hailed as a success for proving that the city’s strength in the marine sector runs far deeper than heritage and culture alone.
Throughout the course of the nine-day festival, organised by a partnership led by Destination Plymouth, a series of business, science and educational events underpinned the family friendly activity which attracted thousands of visitors to Plymouth.
Proving that Plymouth is leading the way in marine research, the Oceans of Potential marine science conference attracted speakers and guests from across the globe to come together to discuss the future of our seas.
The event, run by Plymouth Marine Laboratory and supported by the Marine Institute at Plymouth University, attracted delegates from around the world to hear some of the leading global authorities on marine research.
The Business Expo organised by Plymouth Chamber was another resounding success, with more than 500 delegates in attendance, 55 local businesses exhibiting, and keynote speeches delivered by Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board and Government Minister for Trade and Industry Lord Green.
Another key strand of the Marine City Festival was its educational activity, developed and delivered by the National Marine Aquarium and Plymouth University.
The Aquarium’s STEMFest programme saw the largest ever number of school children visiting during a single week, with 1,800 children from over 30 local schools taking part in interactive science shows and workshops designed to make marine themed Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) come to life.
A further 2,500 family visitors took part in the family STEMFest on the Barbican during the Seafood Festival, creating a clear link between the seafood we eat and the issues around the management of our oceans.
Paul Cox, head of Science and Learning at the National Marine Aquarium said: “The Marine City Festival was fantastic for promoting our rich marine heritage, but also in encouraging both visitors and local residents to think more about the importance of protecting our oceans. We were pleased to be so heavily involved in the event, and look forward to seeing even greater numbers get involved in the future.”
Organisers of the festival hope that they can build upon the success of the festival to carve a reputation for Plymouth as a leading marine city.
Pete Smith, Deputy Leader of Plymouth City Council added: “The Marine City Festival has proven that Plymouth has the heritage, geography, culture, people and facilities to become a real force to be reckoned with in the marine sector. The combination of the science, business and educational events, alongside all the food, arts and entertainment, will help to strengthen Plymouth’s position as the most innovative and ambitious marine city in the country bar none, and this will only grow over the coming years.”