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A magical evening for all at the Marine Trades Association Awards Dinner

Published on: 14 June 2023

MTA 23

The British Marine Trades Association (BMTA) is firmly back in the calendar as an anchor event for marine businesses recognising and celebrating successes in the UK leisure marine industry.  

The Grand, Southampton was packed full of excited chatter and networking on Monday 12th June as guests filed in for the annual BMTA event sponsored by A-Plan Insurance, Marine Resources, Barton Marine, Barrus, ASAP Supplies and Deep Blue Cloud DMS.

The evening’s award announcements started with the David Coleman Excellence in Exporting Award, presented by Barton Marine’s CEO Suzanne Blaustone to Wilks. Essex-based Wilks are one of the world's leading companies in the manufacture and supply of fendering and decking systems. 

Chris Berry, Wilks joint MD said of his win “It means a heck of a lot to win this award. It is our 50th year, we lost our father this year and he backed us all the way on exports so, this is brilliant. It is a celebration.”

British Marine Trades Association Business of the Year went to Savvy Navvy. This popular and growing new business received glowing nominations from industry peers stating that the “fun, innovative and trustworthy company” have “developed a successful Google Maps for sailors.”

Savvy Navvy Founder, Jelte Liebrand commented “It is amazing. Yes we are really young and yes we have grown really quickly, but to get the recognition of the industry, as a whole is beyond belief. I honestly did not believe we would win this. I am lost for words.”

A new award for the 2023 event was the inspiring initiative by member, A Plan for the future of the industry to be recognised for their achievements. The MTA Young Marine Professional of the Year, sponsored by A Plan Commercial Marine Insurance went to Maritime Yacht Services, Superyacht tender refit and repair Director, Sophie Tapp. 

The award everyone wants, MTA Personality of the Year went to someone that has the respect of the industry, is a true character, has built a successful manufacturing business with a dedicated team; Jeremy Dale OBE. 

Finishing off the evening, MTA Chairman Paul Martin spoke highly of the 2023 MTA Chairman’s Special Award recipient, citing that he has gone above and beyond for the marine industry. Volunteering hours of his time, is a true leader and works with passion and pride, the award went to Ian Cooke. 

MTA Chair Paul Martin said of the event “Following on from the success of our 2022 event with new venue and new time of year ahead of Seawork we knew we had built a format that works, and that the MTA awards dinner is a firm-favourite among the industry. I was proud to again be able to present the awards to several very deserving winners."      

Event sponsor and 2022 Business of the Year award winner Marine Resources MD James Ward remarked “The MTA Dinner is always one of the best evenings in the industry networking calendar. The companies represented each year really are the backbone of the UK Leisure Marine Industry and cover such a wonderful variety of businesses, all as passionate about our industry as we are here at Marine Resources. This is why we continue to support this brilliant event time and time again.”

Juliet Boyles, Barrus “Barrus were proud to sponsor the MTA Awards Dinner again this year. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get together with our colleagues and customers and celebrate the best in the industry.” 


  • British Marine Trades Association Business of the Year 2023 Savvy Navvy
  • British Marine Trades Association Chairman’s Special Award 2023 Ian Cooke
  • British Marine Trades Association Personality of the Year 2023 Jeremy Dale OBE
  • British Marine Trades Association Young Professional of the Year, supported by A-Plan Sophie Tapp
  • David Coleman Excellence in Exporting 2022 – 2023 Wilks Rubber Plastics

Congratulations to all the award winners, thank you to the sponsors and guests and we look forward to seeing everyone at the next event in 2024!