An agreement has been made between marine businesses in the south west of England and northern France to increase tourism amid the uncertainties surrounding Brexit

Efforts are underway to try and boost marine tourism in the south west of England, the Channel Islands and northern France following the decision to leave the EU.

Business leaders are concerned about the impact the uncertainties surrounding Brexit could have on tourism in the region.

Now a memorandum of understanding has been signed between British Marine South West (BMSW) and the Association des Ports de Plaisance de Bretagne (APPB).

The initiative encourages the sharing of relevant information, maritime culture and maritime tourism between the two areas.

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Commenting on the agreement, the chairman of BMSW, Jonathan Fielding, said: “This agreement enables both regions to work closely on minimising the negative aspects of Brexit.”

A harbour in Brittany

Paimpol Harbour. Credit: Rüdiger Wölk, Münster/Wikimedia Commons

“Together we can encourage boat owners to travel between the UK’s south west region, northern France and the Channel Islands regardless of the final outcome of Brexit,” he continued.

“This new relationship will powerfully promote what we know to be the finest cruising ground in northern Europe,” said the BMSW chairman, who represents 200 marine members in the south west.

The harbour at Dartmouth in Devon

Dartmouth Harbour, Devon. Credit: Bob Larder/Wikimedia Commons

The project aims to develop a common framework for the sustainable growth of the nautical sector in the two regions before and after Brexit.

It will also enable British and French marina members to work together to share best practices and to encourage growth and future investment.

Brieuc Morin, General Secretary of the APPB, which represents 70 marinas and ports, said: “Our new relationship will enable us to further promote tourism in both regions.”

“We are committed to making Channel crossings as easy as possible by initiatives such as sharing more information about marinas and hope to see a significant increase in numbers of boats travelling for leisure between northern France and the UK’s south west,” he added.

The harbour at Bénodet

Bénodet. Credit: Ackles29/Wikimedia Commons

The project has already started with a research survey of boat owners’ requirements being conducted by students from Université de Bretagne Sud in both the UK and France.

The results of this survey will assist in the formation of further specific objectives and form the basis of data for grant funding.