MEMBER NEWS: Business begins for the Global Underwater Hub as it ushers in a new era for UK underwater industry

November 18, 2021
MEMBER NEWS: Business begins for the Global Underwater Hub as it ushers in a new era for UK underwater industry

This week sees the first day of operation for the Global Underwater Hub (GUH), a new strategically focused organisation that will transform the UK’s £8bn underwater industry into one of the country’s largest and fastest-growing industries, accelerating the drive to net-zero and creating high value sustainable jobs and exports.

The UK and Scottish Government-supported organisation has evolved from Subsea UK which, after nearly two decades as the globally recognised champion of the UK’s underwater industry, has helped position the UK as the world leader in subsea technology and expertise.

Led and governed by industry, the GUH has retained the experience, knowledge, network, and membership of Subsea UK, and will harness the UK’s combined underwater expertise in engineering, environmental science, technology, services and skills, to enable companies to successfully compete globally in the underwater sectors of offshore energy, defence, aquaculture, telecoms and subsea mining.

The GUH has been launched after three years of planning and preparation, and is headquartered in Westhill, Aberdeen – recognised as a global centre of excellence in underwater engineering. The main base will be joined by hubs in north England and south England in 2022, connecting people, companies and locations through one national, geographically connected organisation.

As a new organisation, with a voracious appetite for innovative technologies, the GUH will provide access to the largest, cross-sector underwater community in the world and will offer commercially driven market intelligence, expertise, contacts and specialist support to attract new investment and capitalise on the opportunities presented by the energy transition and the blue economy.

“To be successful globally, the underwater sector must continue to look outwards and not just inwards at UK content,” said Neil Gordon, chief executive of the GUH.

The underwater industry is set to grow from £50bn to £140bn globally by 2035. The UK currently holds a third of the global market share in offshore energy, but with such rich prizes in the wider Blue Economy on offer, competition from other countries is increasing.

Neil added: “The real value to the UK’s economy will come from a vibrant underwater industry that can compete successfully on the world stage and diversify its capability, skills and technologies for use across a multitude of sectors.”

The official opening of the GUH is planned for early next year.

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AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise