Polaris shortlisted in Mersey Maritime Industry Awards

Polaris News

Polaris has again been selected by judges to be a finalist at this year’s Mersey Maritime Industry Awards.

Polaris is presently the Professional Services Business of the Year after winning the title at last years MMAIs following a judging panel and public vote in 2020. This year Polaris is one of three shortlisted companies competing for the Micro Business of the Year (sub £650,000 turnover) award together with Fort Recruitment and the Real Sphere Eco World Ltd.

Polaris director Ben Pinnington said:

“This year to be shortlisted means more in some ways than winning last year,” he said. “Like many businesses we faced real adversity when the lockdown hit. However, thanks to our brilliant team and business model focused on exports and maritime innovation we were able to recover quickly.  We won work in China with China Classification Society one of the world’s biggest maritime companies. We also picked up work with innovative businesses embracing decarbonisation and digitisation including the Isle of Man Ship Registry, SRO Solutions which represents the tech giant IBM in the maritime market and Roxtec Saudi Arabia. We further worked closely with Liverpool Seafarers Centre our nominated charity fighting for the plight of seafarers to be heard.

We finish the year with a sense of renewal and purpose which given what we faced is a huge achievement for our team. I thank everyone who has worked for Polaris and all our clients who have supported us in these most challenging of times. We’d also like to thank Mersey Maritime for staging such a brilliant evening to celebrate maritime and the abundance of talent in the region.”

Ben said lockdown also gave him the opportunity to strike a book deal with Rethink Press and write the first ever book about public relations in the maritime industry called Making Waves, which aims to help tackle maritime’s  historically weak understanding of public relations.

A panel of 12 judges came together to agree the final list of 39 businesses which will shortly go out to an industry wide voting platform which will help determine the ultimate winners. The platform will go live later in July, giving local, national and international industry members the opportunity to vote for the final winners which will be announced at a  awards dinner in Liverpool on Friday 17 September 2021.

The first round of the process saw over a hundred applicants with 55 individual companies entering which gave the judges panel no easy task in deciding who to choose from all of the submissions. For the first time this year, the MMIA also include two major new categories, delivered in partnership with Maritime UK: Apprentice of the Year and Apprentice Employer of the Year. Each award has three finalists for the thirteen categories, with face to face interviews via Zoom also taking place for the Apprentice of the Year award. A further award will be made for Ambassador of the Year, in recognition of the significant contribution of an individual to the maritime industry across their career. Mersey Maritime will now work with all the finalists to produce short films to bring their applications further to life and showcase their achievements. These films will also help those voting via the industry platform make a more informed choice about who they would like to see win.


The 2021 judges were:


  • Angie Redhead – City Assets Manager for Culture Liverpool
  • Ben Murray – CEO of Maritime UK
  • Ben Ludzker – CEO of Kays Medical
  • Bev Rice – Owner of Robinson Rice Associates
  • Camilla Carlbom – Chairman of Carlbom Shipping Ltd
  • Charles Whitford – Director North West and Regions for MTC
  • Guy Balmer – Lieutenant Colonel Deputy Naval Regional Commander / Chief of Staff for the Royal Navy
  • Helen Kelly – Head of Communications for Nautilus International
  • Howard Young – Global Head of Channel Partners for Western Union Business Solutions
  • Richard Ballantyne – CEO of British Ports Association
  • Rod Paterson – Deputy Director, Maritime (AMIS) for Department for Transport
  • Sarah Kenny – CEO of BMT Global and Chair of Maritime UK


Commenting, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, Chris Shirling-Rooke, said:


“Virtually the whole of 2020 and much of 2021 has thrown a lot at the maritime industry and indeed the entire UK economy. We know this year of intense pressure owing to the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on a number of businesses but, sitting at the heart of the maritime industry here in the Liverpool City Region, we also know about the incredible resilience, fortitude and dynamism that has seen significant success for many. We were determined to celebrate everything that has been achieved across the sector. At our awards dinner, which will be held at the end of London International Shipping Week, we’ll cast a major spotlight on everything that is great about our powerhouse industry.


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