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Red Funnel underlines commitment to diversity at first ever Maritime UK Awards

Thu, Aug 8 2019

Red Funnel Ferries has underlined its commitment to inclusion and diversity by throwing its support behind a brand-new national awards programme recognising the best of the UK’s maritime sector.


The Southampton-based company, which provides award winning Isle of Wight ferry travel, is sponsoring the diversity award at the first ever Maritime UK Awards.

The Maritime UK Awards will take place in Southampton on 19 September, as thousands of people descend on the city for the Southampton Boat Show.

Commenting on the sponsorship of the Diversity Award, Red Funnel CEO, Fran Collins said: “At Red Funnel, we know that improving diversity is key to achieving equality and fairness within the workplace. In today’s working environment, inclusion and diversity are fundamental to our culture and core values. Equal opportunities should be available to everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, belief, sexual orientation, family status or disability.

“We have been working hard ourselves to set an example, and most recently we changed our logo on Red Falcon to reflect the iconic Pride flag colours in support of two local Pride events either side of the Solent. It’s a reminder that it is vital to ensure that our workplace is a safe, positive, and nurturing environment for everyone. By sponsoring the Diversity Award, we are keen for businesses, organisations and charities to come forward and demonstrate their commitment to diversity in the workplace.”

The diversity category has attracted a significant number of entries and representatives from Red Funnel will also be in the thick of the action at the awards in September, cheering on winners and handing over the coveted award.

The category is open to a business, charity or organisation of any size, and the winner will be able to demonstrate true commitment to diversity. They will be able to evidence their work to create a diverse workforce including through collaborating with other businesses, charities and organisations to share best practice.

Ben Murray, Director at Maritime UK, added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Red Funnel on the diversity award. Its commitment to inclusion and diversity is there for all to see not least changing its logo on Red Falcon during the summer to reflect the Pride flag was both innovative and bold.”

Stuart Baker, Head of Local Growth at the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and Chair of the Maritime UK Regional Council, added: “Red Funnel is an integral part of the region and a vital part of the infrastructure providing an important link between the mainland and the Isle of Wight.  We are delighted that they are   supporting these inaugural awards which will take place just a few yards from their headquarters and the Southampton terminal. The event simply wouldn’t be happening without the input from organisations like Red Funnel.  We’re extremely grateful for their support.”

The Maritime UK Awards will take place in a different region of the UK every year and Solent LEP was instrumental in ensuring the inaugural event would be held in the Solent.

To find out about the awards and categories visit the official website. Tickets are £1,500 per table of 10 or £175 per person. All attendees will receive a free ticket to the Southampton International Boat Show, powered by Borrow A Boat.


Issued by Laura Downton at Lee Peck Media T: 023 80 38193 E: [email protected]


About the Maritime UK Awards – Solent 2019

  • The Maritime UK Awards are the first truly national maritime awards in the UK, organised by industry, for the benefit of industry
  • The awards ceremony will take place in a different region every year, with the first taking place in Southampton on 19 September alongside the Southampton Boat Show
  • Entries for the 2019 awards, which are organised by Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Maritime UK, open on 26 April and closes on 13 June
  • To find out more or to enter visit

About the Solent LEP

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a partnership between business, education and local authorities. Together we play a leading role in determining economic priorities in our region and investing to drive economic growth and job creation.

Our vision is to invest and empower the region now so that the Solent will be a productive and thriving region in 2050. To do this we work together to do the following:

  • Growing the skills base & supporting business growth
  • Enhancing transport connectivity
  • Enabling flagship sites for housing and employment

In summing up these goals we use #Solent2050

Some of our most recent achievements include:

  • More than 270 small and medium-sized businesses funded with more than £10m in grant funding
  • Over 3,500 new homes completed
  • More than 9, 500 learners supported  
  • Nearly 6,000 jobs created

We offer a package of support measures, including a Brexit Readiness Pack, to help Solent businesses plan for the impact of the UK leaving the EU. For more information or to download the pack, visit:

To find out more visit:




About Red Funnel

Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.  In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and two food & beverage brands, ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’.  The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, The Red Funnel IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, Isle Walk Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a range of community and niche interest events. Red Funnel’s 2019 Charity of the Year is Mountbatten Hospice, Isle of Wight.

For more information visit: