Royal award for campus chief

Published on 10/11/2020 by DTHACK

Captain Neil Atkinson, Head of Fleetwood Nautical Campus, has been honoured with the Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service.

Neil first arrived at Fleetwood Nautical Campus in 1989, studying an evening class, before moving onto a cadetship “despite the careers' teacher trying to convince me to be a chartered accountant, because they hadn't heard about careers in the Merchant Navy”.

After learning his trade on land and at sea, Neil demonstrated his seaworthiness on large bulk carriers, later becoming Captain in the ferry sector before returning to the campus where he now serves as Head. 

At various points of his career at sea Neil returned to Fleetwood to continue his nautical education, gaining the highest professional qualification, - Master Mariners Certificate of Competency - in 2003, and is now a Chartered Master Mariner.

Like many of his dedicated team at the campus – part of Blackpool and The Fylde College - Neil also volunteers with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, keeping people safe off the Fleetwood coast.

His award marks a double celebration for Neil, who started lecturing 20 years ago. He's been Head of Campus for the last 7 years.

"Fleetwood Nautical Campus has a fantastic reputation worldwide which has been created by the quality of the team that work within it, it's not the campus buildings, the simulators, or the pool, it’s the people teaching here making it special,” said Neil.

"My ambition is to ensure that we continue building the team to take Fleetwood forward into the future for the next generation of students.”

The latest recipient of an award given the Royal Warrant in 2015, Neil's not one to sit back and dwell on past glories. He's already looking to the future and expanding the course portfolio of his world-famous nautical college with dedicated programmes focused on his campus' state-of-the-art bridge and engine room simulators, Fleetwood Nautical Campus' first BSc (Hons) degree, and expanding its offshore training packages to support the renewable energy sector.   

Neil will be presented with his Merchant Navy Award at a royal event next summer.

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