At the beginning of the year, we celebrated being presented the coveted Boating Business Environment Award at the annual Marine Trade Association (MTA) & Boating Business Awards.
We scooped the award for our commitment to reducing carbon emissions across our marinas and our work protecting the environment. We were also recognised in particular for leading the sector in tackling the spread of marine non-native species to protect native aquatic life, working with the Government and key stakeholders.
Peter Nash, Editor of Boating Business, commented: “This award is always given to a business that has pulled out all the stops to deliver lasting environmental improvements in the marine industry. The judging panel was very impressed with the recent sustainability measures that MDL has introduced, spanning a number of different environmental issues, and the company’s dedication to continually pursuing ways to protect the environment.”
Our commitment to protecting and preserving our local environments in and around our marinas continues. We recently teamed up with The BLUE Marine Foundation and Land Rover BAR to design a customised pontoon, which aims to assist with the restoration of the native oyster in the Solent, once the biggest oyster fishery in Europe. The newly developed pontoon structure, which bolts directly to the side of existing walkway pontoons, was designed to accommodate cages that will be used to house brood stock oysters. The mesh size is such that the adult oysters will be contained within the cages but their spat are picked up on the tide and redistributed throughout the Solent.
Researchers from the Portsmouth Institute of Marine Science will study the oysters on the Land Rover BAR pontoon, closely monitoring the relationship between density and mortality / reproduction rates. This research will help identify optimum conditions for the oysters, which we will then replicate across pontoons in all of our marinas across the Solent.
Until the late seventies, nearly 500 boats made a living from catching oysters in the Solent, employing more than 700 men at sea. Fishing for oysters was banned in 2013 due to a drastic decline in numbers, but we hope our pontoons will be instrumental in returning the oyster numbers to a satisfactory level throughout the Solent and allow fishing to be permitted once again.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted on this!
Our marina teams have done a brilliant job this year, working together to raise funds for some amazing charities. We couldn’t do it without your help, so we’d like to say a big thank you for being so generous and helping us to make a difference!
At the beginning of the year, many of our marinas underwent a Red Nose Day makeover and we launched a social media initiative encouraging our berth holders and team to post selfies of themselves making their faces ‘funny for money’. We donated £1 for every photo received.
In May, Brixham and Torquay Marina organised a charity boat lift to raise funds for The Fisherman’s Mission, whilst June saw one of our berth holders, Gary Pearson, lead a mammoth 68 mile bike ride from Penton Hook Marina, near Chertsey-on-Thames, to Ocean Village Marina in Southampton. He was supported by five dedicated members of the MDL team and the ride raised over £9,000 for the British Heart foundation – a brilliant result.
August saw 24 berth holders from Cobb’s Quay Marina exchange the rolling waves of the sea for the rolling hills of a golf course where they organised a tournament – raising £2,000 for local children’s hospice, Julia’s House. The marina also held its annual fishing competition to raise funds for sailing charity, Heroes on the Water, which this year raised an impressive £1,500.
Each year, we raise money for our long standing charity partner, Ocean Youth Trust South (OYT South). This year, we donated over £700, as well as working with the charity to run the Sail Training Awards, offering admirable young people the chance to take part in a sailing voyage aboard OYT South’s training yacht.
Most recently in November, a 15-strong MDL team cycled 100 miles (the distance from Hamble Point Marina to Cobb’s Quay Marina and return) as part of an epic static bike challenge to raise funds for Children In Need. The team also sported lots of fancy dress and baked some delicious cakes! Despite having to replace our exercise bike part way through the day, we managed to raise over £500.
We’re sure you’ll agree it’s been a very successful fundraising year and we hope to raise even more in 2016!
The deadline for the Marina of the Year Awards is fast approaching – and your home marina needs your support!
We are delighted to have 17 fabulous UK marinas in the running for this year’s prestigious Marina of the Year Awards, run by The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) and we need your votes by Monday 30th November!
Designed to recognise excellence in facilities and customer service, the Marina of the Year Awards are open to all Gold Anchor accredited marinas both in the UK and overseas.
Love your marina? Then make your vote count! These Awards are voted for by boat owners and berth holders just like you, giving you the chance to reward your favourite marina and make sure it gets the credit it deserves.
So, you have a decision to make and we need you to act now to reward your home marina. Perhaps picturesque Brixham Marina is your winner? Or maybe you prefer Northney Marina’s tranquillity, or Port Hamble’s status as the centre of the Solent's racing and boating scene?
Voting is really quick and simple – all you need to do is visit www.marinaawards.com before 30th November 2015.
Here are our 17 UK marinas that have been nominated across two categories:
|UK Coastal Marina:||Northney Marina||Woolverstone Marina|
|Brixham Marina||Ocean Village Marina|
|Chatham Maritime Marina||Port Hamble Marina||UK Inland Marina:|
|Cobb's Quay Marina||Queen Anne’s Battery||Bray Marina|
|Hamble Point Marina||Shamrock Quay||Penton Hook Marina|
|Hythe Marina Village||Sparkes Marina||Windsor Marina|
|Mercury Yacht Harbour||Torquay Marina|
The winners will be announced during the 2016 London Boat Show at ExCeL. Don’t let your favourite marina go unnoticed, get voting for your Marina of the Year now!
Thank you for your support.
The UK’s leading marina operator, MDL Marinas, has developed a powerful video to celebrate being signed as the Official UK Marina Partner for Land Rover BAR.
The video was made using a drone that filmed aerial shots of the Land Rover BAR team training and competing at their headquarters in Portsmouth. The video features a compelling script, which celebrates the dedication and training of the Land Rover BAR team values that are shared by the team at MDL.
‘Ropes whip, sails crack. hull creaks, wind screams.
Boom swings, crew scrambles, battling, winching, sailing, foiling… flying.
Preparing, securing, steadying, lifting... flying.’
Drones were also used to film the MDL teams hard at work at Hamble Point and Port Hamble, both situated on the River Hamble. The captivating footage promotes the likeness between the crew and the marina managers by highlighting the shared desire to win and succeed using a combination of hard work and determination.
The exciting video sees the MDL group get behind the team – as they compete on home waters for the first time – and join the nation to back Land Rover BAR’s quest to bring the Cup home.
To support the Team, MDL has provided essential access to the Solent to enable team training. Land Rover BAR has also been given full use of MDL’s network of leading marina locations and facilities across the south.
On behalf of the Team, Ben Ainslie commented: “It’s great to have MDL Marinas on board as our Official UK Marina Partner. As the leading marina operator in the UK and the longest-standing British marina group it was a natural fit. We are looking forward to closely working together on this momentous challenge.”
To keep up to date with the team and the America's Cup, visit our Online Portal.
We are pleased to announce that Lesley Robinson (pictured) will succeed Eamonn Feeney as the new Managing Director for MDL Marinas.
The change comes as Eamonn recently announced his intention to retire after almost 5 years at the helm overseeing the continued growth and success of Europe’s leading marina group.
Eamonn said “I’ve really enjoyed my time with MDL, in what is a great industry with great people, and I’m personally pleased to be handing on a business in great shape to my successor. Whilst this is the first phase of my retirement plan I’ll be keeping up my links with the industry as I think I’ll find it hard to stay away.”
Lesley joins MDL Marinas as a proven business leader with a strong commercial, customer focused background across a broad range of fields. Lesley has operated at director level in the leisure, FMCG, media and technology sectors both internationally and in the UK and will be joining MDL from her most recent Director role at the Money Advice Service.
Lesley will join the business in early November and will be relocating to the Hamble area.
Lesley said “I’m delighted to be joining MDL and looking forward to getting started as soon as possible. I’m excited about the many opportunities that lie ahead for the business and to being part of the excellent team dedicated to serving MDL’s customers.”
MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator, is looking forward to exhibiting at this year’s Southampton Boat Show, when it will return once again to its impressive two-tier waterfront location.
Staff members will be on hand throughout the show to welcome berth holders and visitors to the stand and showcase MDL’s network of outstanding marinas in the UK and Europe. This year, the team will be running a competition to win a year’s free berthing at MDL’s stunning five-star Marina di Stabia. Located in the beautiful Bay of Naples in Italy, Marina di Stabia is a new generation superyacht facility offering long-term berthing opportunities at incredible rates. With 900 berths, the marina is located in close reach of a rich picking of famous scenic spots including Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi and Pompeii.
Freedom Berthing members will, as normal, benefit from exclusive hospitality in our MyMDL Lounge. The balcony offers a wonderful view over the boat show marina, ideal to enjoy a complimentary drink or two in the sun (should the weather be kind to us). Berth holders can also take advantage of free parking at Ocean Car Park in Ocean Village Marina. Simply hand in your parking ticket when presenting your card at the Freedom Berthing reception desk and we will exchange this for an exit pass.
The show will also see the MDL team recognise the achievement of a group of deserving young people who have completed their Sail Training Awards, during a special ceremony. The MDL-sponsored awards have been running for nearly 30 years, offering admirable young people - carefully selected due to their exceptional accomplishments, or for overcoming adverse personal circumstances – the opportunity of a lifetime aboard a training yacht operated by Ocean Youth Trust South.
Other highlights of the show for MDL include cheque presentations to two UK charities, Heroes on the Water and Julia’s House children’s hospice, thanks to Cobb’s Quay Marina’s fundraising efforts. The marina holds an annual fishing competition to raise funds for sailing charity, Heroes on the Water, which this year raised £650. The team also recently held a golf day at Bulbury Woods golf course, raising an incredible £2,000 for Julia’s House.
Our cleat challenge game, first seen at the America's Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, will make a welcome return. Those participating will have the chance to win a Henri Lloyd jacket by posting the fastest time during the course of the show.
MDL will also be announcing the results of its annual ‘MDL in Bloom’ competition, which rewards green-fingered marina teams across all 19 UK locations, who have been working hard throughout the summer to ensure that their sites are looking their best.
Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “The Southampton Boat Show is a real highlight of the boating calendar for us and a show at which we really enjoy exhibiting. We look forward to welcoming visitors, along with our existing berth holders for exclusive hospitality, and have lots of exciting events planned. The show also gives us a great opportunity to recognise the achievements of our staff and the young people receiving their Sail Training Awards.”
The UK’s leading marina operator, MDL Marinas, has signed a six-year deal to become the Official UK Marina Partner for Land Rover BAR. The exciting news sees the MDL group get behind the team and join the nation to back Land Rover BAR’s quest to “bring the Cup home”.
To support the Team, MDL has provided essential access to the Solent to enable team training. MDL Marina Consultancy, a division of MDL Marinas, recently project managed the design and construction of a high specification customised pontoon to complement the Land Rover BAR team’s innovative new headquarters in Portsmouth.
Manufactured by Walcon Marine, the MDL-branded pontoon has been created with the highest quality materials, including continuous concrete flotation and beautiful sustainably-sourced hardwood decking. Strong attention to detail extends to the MDL logo embedded in the deck boards with a CNC machine – a first for the industry. The pontoon is fully serviced with water and electricity and lit with stainless steel lighting, recessed into the deck.
Dean Smith, Operations and Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to have been selected as the UK Marina Partner for Land Rover BAR and to be part of the winning formula to help bring the America’s Cup home. We are a long-standing British company and are proud to be part of this historical moment. We are planning a number of events and opportunities in and around our marinas and will be getting our customers and teams fully involved in the excitement of it all. We will certainly be backing the Land Rover BAR team all the way.”
On behalf of the Team, Ben Ainslie commented: “It’s great to have MDL Marinas on board as our Official UK Marina Partner. As the leading marina operator in the UK and the longest-standing British marina group, it was a natural fit. We are looking forward to closely working together on this momentous challenge.”
Visit our Land Rover BAR Portal for all the latest information from the America's Cup, including team news and race results.
Staff and customers from MDL’s Chatham and Woolverstone marinas recently returned home from their annual ‘Cruise in Company’ event, which is part of the RYA Active Marina Programme, designed to help owners make the most of life on their boat.
This year’s week-long ‘Cruise in Company’ event departed on Saturday 18th July. Challenging weather conditions meant this year’s cruise was shorter than usual, but still offered MDL berth holders the perfect opportunity to socialise together.
On the Sunday, the group set sail for Dover and enjoyed a splendid captain’s dinner at Cullins Yard Brasserie. After a good night’s sleep the group set sail again for Calais where an evening of entertainment awaited them at Yacht Club du Calaisis. The live band got everyone on their feet and dancing.
Trevor Barnes, General Manager at Chatham and Woolverstone marinas, commented: “We had a fantastic time In Dover and Calais and the atmosphere was wonderful; we had staff, customers and locals all dancing and having fun together. Despite the weather, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we’ve had some excellent feedback about the cruise.”
You can take a look at all the fun on Woolverstone Marina’s Facebook page.
In association with RYA Active Marina and MDL Marinas, Stormforce Coaching will be hosting a Cross Channel Cruise in Company over the August Bank Holiday weekend especially for MDL berth holders.
Have you always wanted to cross the channel but never wanted to do you first trip alone? Stormforce Coaching will provide an experienced Skipper to accompany you and other like-minded sailors across the Channel. Enjoy the long weekend in France before heading back on Monday afternoon.