‘Big prize’ in getting government to recognise and support sector, says subsea boss

CEO of Subsea UK, Neil Gordon.
Friday 13th February, 2015, Aberdeen, Scotland Subsea UK, Pictured: Neil Gordon Chief Executive, Subsea UK (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

There is a “big prize” for the north-east subsea sector if it can get greater government recognition and support, according to a subsea boss.

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK, said the sector had been engaging with other industries in an effort to increase its appeal.

The subsea boss was speaking speaking during an Oil and Gas UK efficiency task force meeting with Subsea UK and Scottish Enterprise in Aberdeen.

He has been discussing a global subsea hub to encourage more business for the sector with members of the Scottish Government.

Mr Gordon said: “The global underwater hub reaches a lot more sectors such as oil and gas, deepsea mining, aquaculture and defence. Many of the companies we have in this country perhaps can’t support and work in some of those areas.

“The hub will look at cutting through many of those sectors and we have also been working with RenewableUK to see how we can work closer together, particularly in offshore wind.

“There’s a lot going on in the background but there’s a big prize perhaps to getting government to recognise our industry and support it a little bit more.”

Mr Gordon was speaking just after David Rennie of Scottish Enterprise outlined the subsea hub plan for Scotland.

Mr Rennie said around 600 firms in Scotland have subsea capability, wished to grow their Norwegian footprint and that the sector “still had a bright future in oil and gas”.

Mr Gordon added: “The feedback from government today is very positive but it’s not just about research and development, this is about making sure the UK gets the most out of what we’re good at: working under water.”

He said the subsea hub would allow government “to understand” and “talk about the underwater sector” when meeting foreign firms.

He added: “We hope to have some clearer steps in the next couple of months where we go to next as we’re just in the final stages of talking to government.”

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