An alliance of marinas facing Brexit

Brieuc MORIN, Secretary General of the APPB, and Jonathan FIELDING, President of the BMSW

The Association des Ports de Plaisance de Bretagne and the British Marine South West are joining forces to facilitate cross-Channel exchanges, despite the post-Brexit context. Opinion surveys, joint promotion, rally organization, projects are numerous.

Tightening the links

The British Marine South West (BMSW), an organisation which gathers 200 actors of the nautical sector of the South-West of Great Britain, and the Association des Ports de Plaisance de Bretagne (APPB), strong of 70 marinas from Granville to Pornic, signed an agreement during the London Boat Show on 12th January 2017.

While a first step had already been taken with the Channel Islands during the Jersey Boat Show in 2016, this new partnership aims to broaden and strengthen the links between the two nautical regions on each side of the Channel. Faced with a delicate situation linked to Brexit, the two institutions wish to facilitate the life of pleasure boaters to maintain a sustainable nautical and tourist activity in their navigation basins.

Brieuc Morin, Secretary General of the APPB, welcomes the agreement. "Our new relationship will allow us to further promote tourism in our regions. We[...] hope to see a significant increase in the number of ships sailing between Brittany and the South West of the UK."

Jonathan Fielding, President of the BMSW, stressed the importance of partnership in the current political context. "Together we can encourage boat owners to travel between the South West UK region, Brittany and the Channel Islands, regardless of the end result of Brexit. This new relationship will promote what we know is the best sailing ground in Northern Europe. "

A survey to better know boaters

Initiated before the agreement was signed, a survey was conducted by students from the University of South Brittany after 700 Breton and British yachtsmen. Its objective is to identify the obstacles they encounter when crossing the Channel. The results of this survey, expected within a few months, will make it possible to establish a common roadmap.

A stronger presence at trade fairs

An important part of the agreement is the coordination of promotional actions. The presence of the Breton, Norman and Channel Islands marinas will be strengthened and unified at the Jersey and Southampton boat shows. The stands of the two institutions will be nearby, to gain in importance.

Avenues to explore

The aim of the initiative is to develop a common framework for the growth of the nautical sector on both sides of the Channel before and after the Brexit. Several courses of action have been identified, such as the creation of a rally to discover the Breton and British coasts or the launch of a bilingual promotion site.