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British Marine seeks answers

by British Marine 11 Sep 18:22 BST 11-20 September 2020
Southampton International Boat Show © British Marine

Following the cancellation of BOATS2020 presented by Southampton International Boat Show Ltd on the eve of the event, British Marine is seeking further clarification from Southampton City Council with regard to the reasons for the late notice of decision.

British Marine had been assured by Southampton City Council that BOATS2020 was in complete compliance with current UK Government guidelines as well as the new rules set to come into effect on Monday 14 September. However, despite this, it is understood that Southampton City Council's last-minute decision to cancel the event was made after taking advice from their Director of Public Health and was due to the perceived risk of an increase in COVID-19 cases.

As a consequence, British Marine is appealing to the Secretary of State for Public Health and the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport about the decision and the Direction under Regulation 5(1) of the Health Protection Regulations 2020 that was served to the event, with a view to understand the options available to recompense British Marine exhibitors and stakeholders.

Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, said; "British Marine has done everything in its power to stage BOATS2020 and we followed all Southampton City Council's stringent requirements. We are appealing the decision to seek further insight into the cancellation. I am disappointed and surprised on behalf of our exhibitors and show stakeholders, especially receiving the news so close to the opening. This not-for-profit boat show was all about supporting the leisure marine industry and the city of Southampton."

The show, due to take place from 11-20 September 2020, was set to open on Friday following extensive work in collaboration with Southampton City Council to ensure that the existing Public Health England COVID-19 secure requirements were met.

British Marine continues to communicate with exhibitors, ticket holders and further stakeholders.