New maritime centre based at the Gosport and Fareham Trust

A new state-of-the-art maritime centre based at the Gosport and Fareham Trust (GFM) running a marine careers course has been backed by Olympic sailing gold medalist Sir Ben Ainslie and British Sailor Alex Thomson.

The post-16 vocational diplomas, equivalent to 3 A-levels and run by the Gosport and Fareham Trust in partnership with the Andrew Simpson Centres, will welcome its first cohort of students in September 2021.

The marine and maritime careers centre consists of purpose-built classrooms located metres from GFM school Bay House in Stokes Bay.

The scheme has been backed by Olympic sailing gold medalist Sir Ben Ainslie and MP Caroline Dineage while Alex Thomson, who attended Bay House School, is the patron of the GFM Marine and Maritime curriculum.

Alex Thomson says: “As Patron of the Gosport and Fareham Multi-Academy Trust, I welcome the news that building will commence on the new Marine and Maritime Careers Centre.

“The facility will offer young people so many of the core skills they need to pursue careers at sea or within the marine and maritime industry.

“I’d like to congratulate the GFM, as well as the Andrew Simpson Foundation, who have worked tirelessly to get this programme off the ground during such a challenging time. I wish them all the very best of luck with what’s to come”

Sir Ben Ainslie, who is a founding trustee of the Andrew Simpson Foundation, comments: “This incredible course looks to truly inspire and motivate students to aim high and achieve their dream careers in the marine and maritime sector, regardless of their background.

“I’m really proud of the impact the Andrew Simpson Foundation is having both locally and nationally, partnering with local educational bodies to achieve this.

“My own path into professional sports was challenging in that there wasn’t a dedicated pathway I could follow or a course that I could take but I was incredibly fortunate to have some amazing people around me that were able to guide me.

For the Andrew Simpson Foundation to offer a course that can provide that pathway and opportunity is fantastic.

“I really hope that young people are inspired to sign up and explore the many future career opportunities within the Portsmouth and Gosport area, an area experiencing a huge growth in the marine and maritime industries, and not to forget an area I’m extremely passionate about being close to home”

GFM Executive Trust Lead for Personal Development & Community Services Chris Willis says: “The GFM was formed with the ambition of working collaboratively and purposefully with local organisations and community partners in our town.

“Our new Marine and Maritime centre and diploma is a hugely exciting step forward, offering the young people of Gosport and beyond the opportunity to forge new careers paths on the water.

“Huge thanks go to our partners Andrew Simpson Foundation and patron Alex Thomson. We all look forward to welcoming our first cohort of students in September 2021.”

Richard Percy, CEO, Andrew Simpson Foundation and Centres, adds: “There’s such a diverse range of career opportunities out there for young people and a brand-new extended diploma, delivered in a new partnership with our not-for-profit Andrew Simpson Centres and the Gosport and Fareham Multi-Academy Trust, presents a unique blend of practical outdoors sports coaching and experience, backed by classroom-based workshops and discussions.

“This course has the potential to open doors to endless careers opportunities, specifically within our marine and maritime industry, or even create a pathway to higher education”

To register your interest in the course please visit: