THREE thousand new jobs have been created since 2005 thanks to Cornwall Marine Network (CMN).

The not-for-profit Cornish marine trade organisation, based on Falmouth Business Park, is celebrating reaching the milestone as its latest business support programme Propel Cornwall nears completion, with beneficiary businesses creating 90 new jobs.

Paul Wickes, chief executive, said: “Since 2005 our specialist business support team has attracted more than £30 million of investment into Cornwall’s marine sector and as a direct result we're very proud and delighted to announce that we have supported businesses to create 3,000 new jobs through our funded projects and our ground breaking apprenticeship scheme.

“There is no other privately owned marine network in the UK or Europe that operates on the scale of success that the team at CMN achieves. The added value to Cornwall's economy that results from the 3,000 new jobs has added more than £300 million of value to the local economy in 14 years and this figure grows by more than £30 million every year CMN exists.”

The organisation secured its first investment in 2005 and recruited a team of four employees to support marine business skills and marketing activity.

Since then, it has embraced more than 350 companies and the team has grown to 30 permanent and specialist staff, who provide a wide range of activities including productivity improvements, skills and apprenticeships, innovation support and digital marketing.

Propel Cornwall is an example of a CMN project that has led to new job creation.

Designed to help small and medium sized marine businesses to improve their business systems, processes and develop new products, Propel Cornwall offers part-funded expert guidance from industry mentors, structured support to work with other businesses in the sector and a grant scheme to help fund investment in participating businesses – all tailored solely for the Cornish Marine Sector.

The development of Helford River Children’s Sailing Trust’s £1.7million specialist training centre and the recent launch of the Obervargh Barge by marine salvage expert Seawide Services, were both supported by Propel grant funding.

Another example of CMN’s impact was to support Keynvor Morlift Ltd (KML) with a capital grant to purchase Falmouth Wharves, a strategically and historically important deep-water hub of commercial maritime industries, which has become KML’s UK headquarters and already created more than 40 high value jobs.

Diccon Rogers, managing director of Keynvor Morlift Ltd, said: “CMN support over the years has been outstanding, enabling our growth in so many ways. The purchase of Falmouth Wharves has been transformational for the company, and we couldn’t have got there without CMN. We congratulate Paul Wickes and his high-energy team in this fantastic milestone and for their tireless support of Cornish marine businesses, jobs and skills,”

The Cornwall Apprenticeship Agency, another subsidiary company of CMN, has supported small and medium sized businesses in the marine industry and across other sectors with apprenticeship recruitment and 1,350 apprenticeships have been created by the Agency since 2012.

Julian German, leader of Cornwall Council, added: "CMN is an excellent example of how business support should work. I would like to congratulate Paul Wickes and his team on this important milestone and for their overall contribution to supporting business growth and employment in Cornwall."