British Marine welcomes Robert Parton as New President
2 July 2024
by British Marine

British Marine, the trade association for the UK leisure, superyacht, and small commercial marine industry, is pleased to announce Robert Parton as its new President, effective from 18 July 2024. Robert, who has served as President-Elect for the past two years, takes on the presidency with a robust agenda aimed at advancing the sector's understanding of sustainability legislation requirements and enhancing training opportunities.

Robert brings extensive experience and a passion for the marine industry. He is owner and Managing Director of Aqueduct Marina, an inland marina and boat yard in Cheshire that opened in 2009. Under his leadership, Aqueduct Marina has grown to employ 35 people across its boatyard, marina, caravan site, café, and brokerage, and has earned accolades such as The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) Gold Anchors and Clean Marina accreditation, exemplifying his commitment to environmental sustainability and industry excellence. An active member of British Marine for over a decade, Robert is also a Marina and Boatyard Operative, End Point Assessor, part of the highly knowledgeable and experienced team of independent end point assessors and quality assurers at British Marine.

His journey in the marine industry began after running his family’s dairy business for ten years. In 2009, recognising the need for diversification, he opened Aqueduct Marina. To enhance his expertise, Robert completed the British Marine Advanced Marina Management course in 2012, marking the start of his deep involvement with the organisation. He has since served as chair of the Midlands committee, sits on three British Marine association committees and the British Marine board.

Robert is a passionate advocate for training and skills development, believing that people are the cornerstone of the industry. His leadership style is marked by his commitment to environmental sustainability and practical, sensible approaches to industry challenges. He aims to help British Marine members navigate the increasing legislative requirements related to sustainability, ensuring that advice and demands are well-researched and feasible. His recent advocacy at the Fund British Waterways event in Westminster also underscores his dedication to securing vital resources for maintaining the UK's inland waterways.

Upon his appointment, Robert expressed his enthusiasm and vision for the future: "I am honoured and more than a little surprised to find myself assuming the role of President at such a pivotal time for our industry. My focus will be on driving environmental sustainability and enhancing training opportunities across our membership. Together, we can foster a more innovative and responsible marine industry." 

British Marine CEO, Lesley Robinson, also welcomed Parton’s presidency, stating, "Robert's leadership comes at a crucial time when our industry is navigating significant changes. His proven dedication and innovative approach will be invaluable in steering our collective efforts. I am looking forward to working closely with Robert to ensure our members receive the best support and opportunities for growth."

Under Robert’s presidency, British Marine will intensify its efforts towards environmental initiatives, supporting members in adopting greener practices and alternative fuels. He is also committed to addressing the challenges in training access for remotely located businesses, aiming to expand British Marine’s educational programs to better serve all regions. A strong believer in the power of networking, Robert is keen to encourage face-to-face interactions among members, fostering a more connected and collaborative community.

Robert’s dedication to the marine industry is matched by his active contributions to the South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce and his personal interests, which include a season ticket at Old Trafford, a set of golf clubs, and a Pilates mat for relaxation. He looks forward to meeting as many members and committees as possible during his presidency, supporting chairs and associations, and enhancing the industry's collective efforts.

The marine community can anticipate a forward-thinking and collaborative approach under Robert Parton’s leadership, positioning British Marine at the forefront of industry development and sustainability.