Annual seafood summit to leave the UK's home of fish

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 18 May 2018

THE Grimsby-area is losing the Humber Seafood Summit, as success sees it become a national conference.

After a phenomenal run, it will go down the road to the South Bank’s largest dedicated hotel and conference facility, Forest Pines, and will this year be rebranded as UK Seafood Summit.

It is understood that from 2019 it may head around the country, though no decisions have yet been made.

Debbie Cook, director of corporate relations at organiser Seafish, said: “This year’s UK Seafood Summit – formerly known as the Humber Seafood Summit – has been moved to a larger venue due to the success of the 2017 event but it is important to note that it remains in the Humber. The event has become increasingly popular year on year and is now one of the flagship events in the global seafood calendar, attracting delegates from all over the UK and indeed overseas.

“The UK seafood industry stretches across every corner of the UK and this summit provides an invaluable opportunity for the industry to come together to network, share ideas and discuss major issues impacting their business.

“This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever and we look forward to continuing to host this event for many more years to come.”

Delegates at World Seafood Congress 2015, hosted by Grimsby Institute. 

Launched in 2010, it was originally a Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce initiative, endorsed and expanded by the award-winning Grimsby-area cluster, with former Young’s chief Wynne Griffiths championing it.

Seafish took up the organisational baton, with the industry authority having its English headquarters in the original venue, Europarc’s Humber Seafood Institute.

Read more: Grimsby fledgling food firm used as a Midlands Engine exemplar

It later moved to Humber Royal Hotel, and then for the past two years, Cleethorpes Pier – now the world’s largest fish and chip restaurant – with the evening reception and popular ‘seafood fayre’ anchored at the hotel. It brought in local food producers for an evening of networking. It undoubtedly helped Grimsby attract World Seafood Congress is 2015 too.

That was held at Grimsby Institute, which boasts a sizeable theatre, with Grimsby Auditorium – tonight hosting 500 guests for the Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards – offering the flexibility to ramp up to 1,200 in theatre style.

A spokesperson said: "As the event has grown we have needed to find a bigger, all-purpose venue that can host the event and provide accommodation for those in attendance. On that basis, the two venues were either not suitable or available on this occasion."

Right, the Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards in full swing at Grimsby Auditorium.

While the success will be a source of pride for an event that used Grimsby Dock Tower in its logo for a time, there will be an economic loss, especially when it comes to more than 100 delegates staying over. It also comes on the back of the loss of another seafood industry spectacle swallowed last year, the public-facing British Fish Craft Championship, after a three-year stay in Cleethorpes.

George Krawiec, chairman of Grimsby and Humber Seafood Cluster, and former chief executive of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “While we would prefer it to stay here in Grimsby, we recognise the success of the conference in becoming a national event, and it is understandable it will be moved around other parts of the country for the foreseeable future.

“We have an excellent working relationship with Seafish, we are confident they will ensure that this area will continue to be seen as the home of seafood processing.”

Read more: More fishies on dishies is good for you and Grimsby

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