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Global Underwater Hub appoints Bristol-based BDO to boost ‘blue economy’

Global Underwater Hub, the representative trade body for the underwater industry, has announced the appointment of Andy Williamson as business development director, and also regional manager for the South of England.

With 30 years’ experience in the underwater sector and renewable energy industry, Andy is responsible for driving new business and delivering the GUH strategy across the South East, South West, East Anglia, East and West Midlands, and Wales.

Andy is an experienced commercial, major projects and economic development energy professional with a strong track record working with large corporations, start-up innovators, R&D 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, where he supported key projects on behalf of industry and UK and Scottish governments under the North Sea Transition Deal.

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

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

“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.”

Andy will be based at the GUH’s new Bristol office which, with funding support from the UK Government, opens in the city’s Emersons Green area later this year.

Neil Gordon, Global Underwater Hub’s CEO, 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.”

GUH plays a pivotal role in nurturing the sectors operating underwater by facilitating access to broader markets, providing new opportunities, and fostering connections.

“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,” said Neil.