Brexit is major opportunity for UK marine industry

One of Lee Peck Media’s major clients has entered the debate over Brexit. has signed a two-year deal to put its name to the Southampton Boat Show, the biggest on-water show in Europe, which starts its 10-day run next week on September 15. founder and CEO Richard W. Roberts, said: “I know that many within the UK leisure marine industry are disappointed over Brexit but I am convinced that it will help our industry to re-energise and find new markets. As an island nation, Britain has led the maritime world for centuries. I have no doubt we have the products, skills and know-how to do it again.”

The business enjoys a solid global reputation as the online home of classified ads to buy and sell boats, but post Brexit it wants to establish itself as the UK number 1 before kicking on and capitalising on the significant growth its already seen across Europe and the USA.

Since the referendum vote last June to June 2017, has seen sales grow by an impressive 41%. In the same period site visits have increased by 50.3% to over 100,000 per week. Simultaneously, broker enquiries have also increased like for like by 25.2%, most of which have come from outside the UK.

Richard Roberts said: “Thanks to the fall in Sterling – if you’re buying boats in Euros or US dollars – you are getting a much better deal and without doubt that is benefitting our international business.”

He added: “I am hoping that ‘Brexit’ will help to reduce the amount of red tape we have to undergo. It might be ok for the major corporations but for SME’s like TheYachtMarket, we have been spending far too much time paper pushing rather than supporting our customers. Personally, I am hoping the UK Government recognises that entrepreneurs need to focus on being creative and building businesses rather than being overloaded with administration.”
Richard Roberts, along with his business partner and Chief Technical Officer, Simon White founded the company 14 years ago in the south coast port. “Think Auto Trader for boats and you’ll get the picture,” he explained. Today, is one of the largest boat sales platforms online. “We work with over 1,000 brokerages worldwide, marketing more than 50,000 vessels. We also extend our marketing tools to private sellers, which proves popular with those who wish to manage the sales process themselves.

“We hope that Brexit will give the UK marine industry a fabulous opportunity for reinvention and to re-energise itself. Our first task is to ensure we are the preferred ‘Port of Call’ for boat buyers and brokers within the UK market and then to further establish the business globally. Southampton Boat Show is a vital step on that journey.”

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