Minister for Business, Ian Lucas, last night presented the UK’s first-ever “Cluster Marks” award to Humber Seafood at a gala event in London.
The new award recognises the best of Britain’s manufacturing clusters and their valuable contribution to the country’s economic growth.
Clusters are regional concentrations of related companies and organisations that compete, but also collaborate to share knowledge, increase innovation and drive growth within the sector.
The Cluster Mark was established to raise the profile of UK manufacturers involved in cluster activity and to help promote their local strengths internationally. The awards also aim to boost the reputation of the manufacturing sector as a whole and highlight its importance to the British economy.
The winners were chosen by an Independent Judging Panel, chaired by Ian Lucas and made up of representatives from industry and academia.
Speaking at the Gala Ceremony in London’s Lancaster House, Ian Lucas said: “Historically, manufacturing has helped to shape the identity of communities up and down the country and it is still vital to our economy today, accounting for 12.4 per cent of GDP. But in order to succeed globally in a low carbon future, the sector must keep evolving and innovating. This is where collaboration can make a huge difference.
“That is why the Government set up the Cluster Mark Awards – to encourage the growth of British clusters and to celebrate the benefits they bring.
“All over the UK, clusters are taking root across a diverse range of industries, as the list of nominees demonstrates. The whole panel were struck by the high standard of the entries and I would like to say a huge congratulations to each of the winners.“
Cluster Marks were awarded to the best four clusters out of 15 nominees from across Britain. The winners were chosen for the outstanding level of co-operation they demonstrated and the benefits achieved as a result.
Humber Seafood Processing Cluster was named Best Overall Cluster for its exceptional entrepreneurial dynamism, innovation, skills base and level of internationalisation.
Cluster Marks were also awarded to the North West Aerospace Cluster, North West Biomedical Cluster and the East of England Health & Life Sciences Cluster.
In addition to the main winners, the South East’s Cryogenics and West Midlands Niche Vehicle Clusters received commendations from the judging panel for their work to date and future growth potential, while the Wales Opto-electronics and Scotland Food & Drink clusters were acknowledged as excellent examples of best practice.