Thrings meets...

Pete Brad­shaw, CEO of Premier Mari­nas

Hampshire Life - - Romsey -

Estab­lished in 1994, Premier Mari­nas owns and op­er­ates nine mari­nas along the South Coast, in­clud­ing South­sea, Port So­lent, Gosport and Swan­wick. CEO Pete Brad­shaw talks to Thrings part­ner Mary Chant about the chang­ing face of mari­nas and boat­yard stor­age fa­cil­i­ties.

Have you al­ways worked in the ma­rina in­dus­try?

It’s fair to say my ca­reer took a num­ber of in­ter­est­ing turns be­fore I ended up in the ma­rina in­dus­try. I’m ac­tu­ally a qual­i­fied char­tered ac­coun­tant, who in 2000 left the world of cor­po­rate fi­nance for the travel in­dus­try. As a re­sult of a cou­ple of key con­tacts I de­vel­oped at the travel op­er­a­tors where I worked, I found my way into the ma­rina in­dus­try. If I’m be­ing hon­est, it wasn’t one I had ever thought about join­ing, but I soon re­alised it was go­ing to of­fer me a fas­ci­nat­ing and ful­fill­ing ca­reer.

You must have seen the in­dus­try change over the years?

When I joined Premier Mari­nas in 2006 there were more boats than there were ma­rina berths, but peo­ple’s abil­ity to keep ex­pen­sive boats changed after the fi­nan­cial cri­sis in 2008. We have there­fore worked hard to add value to our fa­cil­i­ties to meet cus­tomers’ higher ex­pec­ta­tions. We’re also see­ing gen­er­a­tional dif­fer­ences com­ing through: mil­len­ni­als tend to hunt for ex­pe­ri­ences rather than own as­sets, and we’ve adapted our busi­ness model to re­flect the way peo­ple go boat­ing. The rise in pop­u­lar­ity of stand-up pad­dle­board­ing and kayak­ing are cre­at­ing in­ter­est­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for us.

Do you of­fer more than berthing?

We are in­creas­ingly mov­ing into com­ple­men­tary busi­nesses across our nine sites and are broad­en­ing the leisure fa­cil­i­ties we of­fer. We re­cently se­cured plan­ning con­sent for the multi-mil­lion­pound re­de­vel­op­ment of a new site on the River Dart, which, in time, will in­clude a boat­yard, com­mer­cial units, a ho­tel and more than 100 res­i­den­tial units. We’ve started a short break hol­i­day busi­ness at our Chich­ester ma­rina, pro­vide self stor­age fa­cil­i­ties at a num­ber of our sites, and are look­ing to grow the food and drink pro­vi­sion side of our busi­ness.

Is ma­rina se­cu­rity a big is­sue?

Se­cu­rity con­tin­ues to be an im­por­tant part of what we of­fer. Boat own­ers want re­as­sur­ance that their prized as­sets are be­ing kept safe in their ab­sence, par­tic­u­larly if they’ve in­vested a lot of time and money in them. We see se­cu­rity as an es­sen­tial part of the ser­vice we pro­vide. If peo­ple feel se­cu­rity is lack­ing, they will let us know.

What is your proud­est achieve­ment at Premier Mari­nas?

Our teams. We se­cured our In­vestors in Peo­ple Gold ac­cred­i­ta­tion last year, which we are ex­tremely proud about. You can have fan­tas­tic sites and great as­sets, but with­out good peo­ple it won’t work. We have 200 staff who are all fo­cused on main­tain­ing a strong peo­ple cul­ture as well as em­ploy­ing good health and safety habits. We also take on sea­sonal staff, who by work­ing along­side our full-time em­ploy­ees are able to un­der­stand ex­actly what Premier Mari­nas stands for.

How would you de­scribe your re­la­tion­ship with Hamp­shire?

I was born in Zim­babwe and re­turned to theUKwith­my­fam­i­lyin1973.Ini­tial­lywe lived in a room above my grand­mother’s house in Ring­wood, mov­ing to Rom­sey soon after that. I am very at­tached to Hamp­shire, although I have spent time in other parts of the UK. After I left univer­sity I was in­volved in fish farm­ing a nd s pent time build­ing a s a l mon hatch­ery in the Outer He­brides. It could all have been so dif­fer­ent!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.