Bristol chosen by underwater industry trade body for new base as it looks to build presence in South

August 3, 2023

The trade organisation for the underwater industry is to open a base in Bristol later this year.

The Global Underwater Hub (GUH), which has its head office in Aberdeen, represents and promotes the underwater industry, including offshore energy, aquaculture, defence, telecoms and seabed minerals.

It receives funding from the UK and Scottish governments to support and accelerate industry growth to deliver new high-value, sustainable green jobs, technology and exports.

It also creates opportunities for knowledge transfer, networking and new market insight across the sector.

The Bristol office, its first in the South of England, will open at Emersons Green with financial support from the government.

In the meantime, GUH has appointed Andy Williamson, pictured, as business development director and South of England regional manager to be based in the office.

The organisation is also opening a base in Newcastle this summer. Both will house multi-purpose meeting and event facilities, including TV studios.

With 30 years’ experience in the underwater sector and renewable energy industry, Andy, pictured, is responsible for driving new business and delivering GUH’s strategy across a region that stretches from the South West to East Anglia.

GUH described Andy as an experienced commercial, major projects and economic development energy professional with a strong track record working with large corporations, start-up innovators, research and development institutes and governments, across offshore wind, subsea, and marine and ports industry.

He has developed and led teams focused on major clean technology and infrastructure developments, supply chain capacity building and cross-sectoral knowledge transfer.

A passionate STEM ambassador, he is involved with various initiatives nationally and internationally that aim to encourage young people to pursue a career in support of the energy transition.

Prior to taking up his position at GUH, Andy was senior vice president, energy transition, at energy industry skills organisation OPITO, based in Aberdeen, where he supported key projects on behalf of industry and UK and Scottish governments under the North Sea Transition Deal.

He has also held senior business development roles at Port of Blyth, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and Marubeni Corporation.

Andy said: “I’m thrilled to join Global Underwater Hub because the organisation is genuinely unique in supporting growth for UK plc in the underwater sectors.

“The blue economy provides enormous potential for the UK supply chain globally and we are here to help organisations take advantage of this exponential growth.

“In the South of England our aim is to drive value for the UK underwater industry through cross-sectoral collaboration, notably in floating offshore wind, defence and marine science where our supply chain members are extremely active, not just in the South, but nationally and internationally.

“Having a presence in the South allows us to support additional companies involved in the underwater industry and convene collaboration which will support innovative, supply chain growth to stimulate investment, order book value and job creation.”

GUH CEO Neil Gordon said: “Andy joins us as an invaluable addition to the Global Underwater Hub team.

“The knowledge and experience he brings in business development will help strengthen the GUH team immensely and will also ensure we have the focus to support and develop our regional strategy in the South.

“Andy’s primary objective is to establish GUH’s presence in the South, lead the Bristol office and provide support to the membership and partners of GUH in the region.

“This will involve extensive stakeholder engagement, working closely with key businesses, local government, trade associations, and industry partners.

“There are extensive opportunities for those working underwater and we want businesses and organisations to have the best support available to propel them to succeed further.”

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