As part of Teesport’s brand new business spotlight feature, each month we’ll be visiting a different organisation along the banks of the River Tees to showcase the great things that are happening across the industry and the businesses that enable our region to thrive.
This month, for the first ever instalment, we chatted to Nathan Hobday of Red Lion Marine to hear about his career and the diverse service offering RLM provides to river users.
Nathan, owner and founder of Red Lion Marine, started his career on the river working at PD Ports as a Pilot Cutter Deckhand back in 2010 – something he later revisited as Cutter Master during the COVID19 pandemic to offer additional support in order to keep vital trade flows moving throughout the national lockdowns.
With over a decade of experience under his belt, Nathan now sits at the helm of Red Lion Marine, managing a crew of up to 12 colleagues and two vessels, delivering a variety of support services to businesses along the river.
Idyllically situated in a quiet corner of the Port Clarence Logistics site, aptly named Red Lion Meadows, Nathan and his crew offer project management support, vessel hire and end-to-end solutions to compliment any marine work scope and to keep projects on track and on budget.
Whilst Red Lion Marine was firmly established on the banks of the river in 2017, it is actually the global COVID19 crisis that has spurred a significant growth period, said Nathan.
“COVID19 was a testing time for Red Lion Marine, stretching our finances and tenure right at the peak of our initial investment into workboats,” he explained. “The climate ultimately paved the way for a completely different business strategy, forging a new resilience within the company which allowed us to continue operating and stay the course throughout the pandemic.
“We’re actually now looking into investing further in new plant and equipment that will help to drive our growth as we continue to emerge out of the other side of COVID19.”
Red Lion Marine was originally established to provide marine consultancy in the offshore renewable industry, working on various projects across Europe. Returning now to his roots in the form of project support and workboat provision, Nathan now has two workboats that sit quayside at Red Lion Meadows; the RLM Luff Way and the RLM Alpha, both of which are currently in contract with neighbour Relyon Nutec.
A global safety training provider for the energy industry, RelyOn Nutetc’s north-east facility is a stone’s throw from Red Lion Marine on the River Tees.
The training organisation relies on Nathan and his crew to support with the marine element of wing sector courses where an offshore wind turbine transfer environment is simulated in open water. The partnership with RelyOn Nutec has built momentum since an initial agreement was signed in 2020, with a three-year contract extension recently agreed and the two organisations now working side-by-side on additional projects.
“We’re really proud of the partnership we have established with RelyOn Nutec,” said Nathan. “What initially started out as a trial during the lockdown has grown, thanks to our hard work, flexibility and commitment to clients, into something which now forms the bulk of our service provision.
“That’s just one of the benefits that come with being part of the river community here on the Tees, there’s always someone or something that can help or meet business requirements and that’s what makes it a really strong place to do business.”
For more information on how Red Lion Marine could support your business, visit the business directory here.