Oulton Broad boatbuilding college makes first London Boat Show appearance

The 2016 London Boat Show at ExCel. Rob Harbord, left, instructor, and Mike Tupper, managing directo

The 2016 London Boat Show at ExCel. Rob Harbord, left, instructor, and Mike Tupper, managing director at the International Boat Building Training College at Oulton Broad, on their stand. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A Lowestoft boatbuilding college has made its debut at the London Boat Show as East Anglian businesses started the year trying to drum up sales at the flagship event.

The International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC), in Oulton Broad, had a stand for the first time among the vast exhibition hall, where almost 400 boats and a raft of associated businesses were on display.

Statistics published this month by industry body British Marine suggest that the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry generated revenue of £2.97billion last year – up 1.1 per cent on the previous year.

It also found that the home-grown business made up a greater share of sales, up from 68pc of total revenue in 2013/14 to 70pc last year.

Boating tourism, brokerage and insurance and financial services were among the biggest drivers of revenue.

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Mike Tupper, director of the IBTC, said they had decided to visit the boat show to launch their new general maintenance course.

'It will appeal to the everyday boat owners and users,' he said.

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He also said it was a chance to raise awareness of their brand.

He added: 'We are not a museum piece. We want people to learn and use the skills we teach. We want to promote ourselves and there is this new course.'

The college also has a boatbuilding and maintenance yard which he said was doing well.

However, he wants to recruit more students.

? Got a story? Email lowestoft.journal@archant.co.uk

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